Amdo Tibetan ‘Klu rol’ Festival — Part I

Tibetan Lha-ba, Mountain God Amyes-magpa, who is temporarily manifested in a human medium, holding his hair and a knife with his teeth after cut his forehead.

Lha-ba, Mountain God Amyes-magpa, who is temporarily manifested in a human medium, holding his hair and a knife with his teeth after cut his forehead.

 

Summer is a festive season in Rebgong, Amdo region on the Tibetan plateau, and Klu rol ཀླུ་རོལ།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.

Tibetan ladies from our village, Ru-zhol-ma (Rixuma) welcome Lha-ba, Amyes-lhari.

Women from our village, Ru-zhol-ma (Rixuma) welcome Lha-ba, Amyes-lhari.

 

 

Sang (or bsang of conifer branches, grains and silk clothing) and rlung rta/lungta Tibetan Wind Horse offerings.

Sang (or bsang of conifer branches, grains and silk clothing) and rlung rta/lungta Tibetan Wind Horse offerings.

 

Lerol, Inner players from the host village/group performing inside the large circle of outer dancers.

Inner players from the host village/group performing inside the large circle of outer dancers.

 

Tibetan festival, Tibetan young men, outer dancers, pierced through the cheek by the Lha-pa, Amyes-magpa.

Young men, outer dancers, pierced through the cheek by the Lha-pa, Amyes-magpa.

 

Tibetan ladies, Audience corner from the back.

Audience corner from the back.

 

Tibetan boy dancers from the hosting village/group take part in the procession.

Boy dancers from the hosting village/group take part in the procession.

 

Two Tibetan Lha-ba, Amyes-lhari and Amyes-magpa, perform "goodbye" at the end of the day.

Two Lha-ba, Amyes-lhari and Amyes-magpa, perform “goodbye” at the end of the day.

 

Continue part two of the ritual at Tibetan ‘Klu rol’ Festival in My Village — Part II

CONNECT THROUGH MY BLOG

And with your email address.

, , , ,

6 Responses to Amdo Tibetan ‘Klu rol’ Festival — Part I

  1. Anne July 29, 2014 at 11:45 PM #

    These pictures and this story are amazing Jolma!!!! Thank you so much for sharing these!!!!!

    • Pamela Stampen July 31, 2014 at 3:21 AM #

      Beautiful Jolma! What a beautiful celebration for your people and labor of love on your part.

  2. Larry Retzack July 30, 2014 at 6:10 PM #

    Jolma, your villagers look great, especially your cousins. Super photography. Thanks for sharing.

    Cordially,
    Larry

  3. Jolma August 10, 2014 at 4:21 AM #

    Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tibetan ‘Klu rol’ Festival in My Village — Part II | Beyond Her Kitchen - January 4, 2015

    […] Back to Tibetan ‘Klu rol’ Festival in My Village — Part I […]

  2. Family Life: A Day on the Grassland | Beyond Her Kitchen: Tibetan Culture through Food & Stories - June 22, 2016

    […] few opportunities each year to meet during special occasions, including Losar (Tibetan New Year), Klu rol (Lerol) dance festival, weddings, donations honoring one’s life or religious ceremonies. However, […]

I'd love to know your thoughts.

%d bloggers like this: