Music from India
Achi Lhamo, Monpa Buddhist dance drama
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RK DAT 47
On the grounds of the primary school, Lumpo village, Zemithang circle, Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh.
Chauwang Chotta (village headman), Sangey Tarshi (dance instructor), Penia Tenzine, Janrba Tenzine, Dorjee Gyntsen, Jamang Tashi, Jawa Sambru, Jawa Dundup, Chomey Rinchen, Namgey, Lotti
Musicians and dancers (all male) from the Himalayan village Lumpo perform a sequence from the Buddhist dance drama ‘Achi Lhamo’. Lumpo is at 3000m, just below the snow-capped mountains of the Chinese-Tibetan border. Usually this dance is performed during the eleven days of the Buddhist New Year Losar. Achi Lhamo is a mask dance and performed to convey ethical and religious education. The dance instructor plays the stick drum dah (rnga) and other dancers support him with their huge challang (rol-mo) cymbals. Long hymns dedicated to local Buddhist gods and singing sequences alternate with parts played only on the instruments. The singing style resembles the way how the gyaling (rgya-gling) oboe pair is played in the monasteries. The percussionists use mainly 7/8, 4/4 and 2/4 rhythms. The male dancers, singers and musicians are: Chauwang Chotta (village headman), Sangey Tarshi (dance instructor), Penia Tenzine, Janrba Tenzine, Dorjee Gyntsen, Jamang Tashi, Jawa Sambru, Jawa Dundup, Chomey Rinchen, Namgey, and Lotti. The singers belong to the Monpa tribe and recite in the Tibeto-Burman language Monpa.