[Continuing Klu rol (Lerol) Festival part I…]
Summer is a festive season in Rebgong, Amdo region on the Tibetan plateau, and Klu rol festival is held yearly in many Tibetan villages and a few Monguor villages between June fifteenth and the twenty-fifth of the lunar calendar. My village, Gling-rgyal (AKA Langjia) is one of the most known sites for this folk culture.
Langjiais a tribe that made of seven distinctive community groups. It has about 370 households and a population of 3,000. The term Yar-stod (upper portion) refers to the three sub-villages on the east, and Smad-stod (lower portion) refers to the four sub-villages on the west side. Therefore, there are two Lha-ba (mediums), Amyes-magpa and Amyes-lhari, representing the two parts of the tribe.
My brother Dpal-ldan (Huadan) and Kevin Stuart described the festivity in their Perilous Novelties, “It is perceived to be a time of recreation, not only for local villages but also for mountain gods that loom large in local folk religious beliefs and rituals. During the festival, villagers delight the mountain gods and beseech two male village trance mediums (Lha-ba), who represent mountain gods while they are possessed, to bestow bumper harvests and protect their livestock from calamities. The Lha-ba are thus responsible for exorcizing evils that are damaging to the villagers.”
Lerol is a three-day affair for the public but five days by the hosting village group. I’m sharing this ritual in two posts.