Music from India

Monpa dung-khar conch shell duet

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  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 42

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    The balcony of the main prayer hall (Dhukhang), second floor of Tawang monastery, Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Performance occasion


  • Performers

    unidentified (dung-khar (dung-dkar) conch-shell trumpets)

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    Duet performance of two dung-khar (dung-dkar) conch-shell trumpets performed by monks from the second floor of the Gompa (monastery) in Tawang. The function of the ‘performance’ is to call the monks for the prayer service in the monastery main hall (dhukhang). The dung-khar is alternately performed in open and suppressed mode. The sound of the instruments symbolises the sacred ‘ohm’ sound. At the day of the recording the Tantric Gang-Su ritual is conducted, which should protect the gods/goddesses, the monks, and the monastery. In Tawang this ritual is performed twice a month (on the 10th and 29th of the Tibetan month) and lasts between one and three days. These young monks belong to the Monpa tribe.

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