Cham in the Sikkimese Village of Phensang
72 minutes 2009
Every winter, the lamas of Phensang’s village monastery hold their annual cham. These dramatic ritual masked dances impart elementary Buddhist teachings while providing entertainment to villagers. Their main purpose is to remove obstacles and ward off misfortune for the village, its inhabitants and the monastery. However, for lamas and more serious Buddhist practitioners, these cham and their rituals hold deep philosophical meanings. In the course of this village event, the deities who emerge in the period between death and rebirth make their rhythmic appearances followed by the Lord of Death who judges one’s good and bad deeds in the after life.
Cinematography and editing: Phurba Tshering Bhutia
Anthropologist and Project Coordinator: Anna Balikci-Denjongpa
Produced by the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
DVDs of ‘Cham in the Sikkimese Village of Phensang’ are available at the Institute’s book shop.