22/05/2014

VIDEO Oracles and Demons of Ladakh

ETHNOFLORENCE

N 787

Oracles and Demons of Ladakh

Isolated in the Indian Himalayas, Ladakh is a western enclave of the Greater Tibetan Plateau untouched by Chinese occupation. Home to each of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism, this vibrant land of high mountain passes is believed to have direct discourse with spirits from the old lands of Tibet.

Human mediums for these spirits, or "Oracles" as Ladakhis call them, play an integral role in the culture of the area.

They are called upon to divine the future, cure bodily diseases and ward off harmful entities that haunt the land from the mountains. Shot onsite in Jammu and Kashmir, the chronicle follows the tales of several of these shamanic figures across the high-altitude deserts of Ladakh. Narrated by leading authorities on Tibet, the film considers how Oracle practices such as spirit possession, ritual healing, soothsaying and exorcism remain fundamental folk traditions in Tibetan societies to this day.

The film features interviews with an array of experts, including: Eric Margolis, Laurent Pordié, Geoffrey Samuel, Robert A.F. Thurman, an assortment of highly respected Rinpoches, as well as the Dalai Lama's own Nechung Oracle.

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