22/05/2011

KINGS OF THE FOREST: THE CULTURAL RESILIENCE OF HIMALAYAN HUNTER-GATHERERS. JANA FORTIER

The book 'Kings of the Forest:

 The Cultural Resilience of Himalayan Hunter-Gatherers'

 (Honolulu:University of Hawaii Press, 2009) by JANA FORTIER is the most extensively publication devoted to the
Rautes people of Nepal. 

The Raute are one of the last nomadic ethnic group of hunther gatherers, not assimilate into the surrounding farming
population, is estimated at about 650 persons living in the KARNALI and MAHAKALI monsoon rainforest of Western Nepal.

Their language called 'Raute' or 'Khamci' is classified as Tibeto-Burman and it's closely related to the language spoken
by two related ethnic groups the Ban Raji ("Little Rulers of the Forest") and Raji ("Little Rulers") of the same region
(Fortier and Rastogi 2004).

The closest well-documented language to Raute known at the present time is the Chepang, spoken by an ethnic group of west-central
Nepal who also have been hunter-gatherers until the current generation.

The Raute are known  for their hunting of langur and macaque monkeys for subsistence, hunting has no other purposes but to
consume for their survival , they prepare hunting by sacrificing chicken to the god on the new-moon day.

They also gather wild forest tubers, fruits, and greens on a regular basis.

To obtain grain, iron, cloth, and jewelry, they trade handmade wooden bowls and boxes to local farmers.

They do not sell other forest products, bushmeat, or forest medicinal plants.

Pictures and text courtesy of Jana Fortier.

In the follower pictures  Raute drummers, called Guru, leading a dance in Jajarkot, Nepal.

They act like shamans who dance for many reasons,but especially for the happiness of the Sun deity, known as Berh.

During dances, only the older boys wear shamanic dance regalia.

When they come of age, they give their dance regalia to their younger brothers.

Each dancing dress is sewn with strips of red cloth by their sisters usually.

Raute drummers communicate with Berh through the trance-like drumming.

While drumming, the shamans call themselves "gurao,“ spiritual leaders who even possess the power of turning themselves into
a tigers. Drum made of monkey hide and "Saana" wood. Rautes themselves refer to their drum as a Dhol, and local villagers too
refer to it as a Dhol drum although it doesn't have the classic Indian Dhol drum shape (Indian Dhol are wider, shorter, and
have a curve in the body of the instrument).

 

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Courtesy of Jana Fortier

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17/02/2010

NEPAL SHAMANS, pictures from the very early 70's. PREPARING A CHAM DANCE. THE TRADITIONAL DANCE OF THE TRIBAL RAUTE PEOPLE OF NEPAL.

ETHNOFLORENCE

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS

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2008-2016

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NEPAL SHAMANS

pictures from the very early 70's

Photo courtesy of

KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

 05 NEPAL SHAMAN SHAMAN NEPALESE

Photo KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

06 bis b NEPALESE SHAMAN

Photo KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

06 NEPALESE SHAMAN

Photo KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

07 NEPALESE SHAMAN

Photo KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

08 NEPALESE SHAMAN

Photo KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

09 NEPALESE SHAMAN

Photo KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

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Photo KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

011 NEPALESE SHAMAN

Photo KRISHNA S  BEUTEL

012 NEPALESE SHAMAN

Courtesy of Krishna S.Beutel

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--PREPARING FOR A CHAM DANCE IN KORZOK VILLAGE, TSOMORIRI

TEXT AND PICTURES COURTESY OF TRAVEL LUST WORDPRESS

http://ihavetravellust.wordpress.com

A high Lama visited the village of Korzok at Tsomoriri and they decided to perform a Cham dance only the day before. The Cham dance or Masked dance is only performed by the monks and suppose to give merits to the audience, the monks are dressed in beautifully made ornamental costumes and masks of animal deities.

I happened to intrude into the preparations for the cham dance while everyone else including some annoyingly irritating Indian photographers and some other rich European photographers with huge camera set-up waiting in the courtyard for the performance. The monks were kind enough to let me stay on and photograph them dressing up for the dance. The whole preparation was amazing, everyone calmly went about dressing up, the other monks and villagers helping out, dressing the monks in their beautifully intricate costumes.

The feeling I got from this event : well its more genuine and provincial, more real compared to the other large events that is happening in the other places.

013 CHAM DANCE

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Courtesy of  Travellust Word Press http://ihavetravellust.wordpress.com

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MAMOIADA

A LIVING TRADITION

AN ICONOGRAPHIC COMPARISON

-MAMOIADA (ITALY)

 In collaboration with the MUSEO DELLE MASCHERE MEDITERRANEE di Mamoiada (Italy).

COMING SOON

044 MUSEO DELLE MASCHERE MEDITERRANEE MAMOIADA

045 MUSEO DELLE MASCHERE MEDITERRANEE MAMOIADA

Photo Courtesy  of  MUSEO DELLE MASCHERE MEDITERRANEE di MAMOIADA.

http://www.museodellemaschere.it/

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THE TRADITIONAL DANCE OF THE TRIBAL RAUTE PEOPLE

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The nomadic hunter and gathering Raute people struggle to survive, but fiercly protect their ancient lifestyle in the western forests of Nepal.
Courtesy of Knut-Erik Helle  http://keh.nu/

09

Kings of the Forest: The Cultural Resilience of Himalayan Hunter-Gathers , by Jana Fortier, University of Hawaii Press, 2009.

A hunter-gatherer society is one whose primary subsistence method involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals from the wild, foraging and hunting without significant recourse to the domestication of either.

"There is no need for us to live like you."

The Raute people of the Karnali and Makahali regions of Western Nepal is a nomadic indigenous ethnic group, which population is estimated in around 650 persons, their language is classified as Tibeto-Burman, closely related to the one spoken by two related ethic groups, the Ban Raji and Raij , the closest documentated language to the Raute is probably the Chepang, spoken by this ethnic group of West-Central Nepal. Officially recongnized by the Nepalese Government, the Raute are known for their life-subsistence linked with the  hunting of  macaque, langur monkeys, bats, porcoupine, and the gathering of wild forest tubers, fruits, and greens. To obtain grain, iron and cloths they trade handmade typical wooden bowls and boxes to the local farmers. The Raute however don't sell other products of the forest, bushmeat or forest medicinal plants.

In the present  world  this last  primitive hunter-gatherer society  living in the monsoons rainforest of Western Nepal  struggles with the  deforestation and encroachment, language loss, political domination by surrounding communities.  The book explores how this ethnic group is tryong to maintain its traditional way of life .

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RICHARD LAIR COLLECTION

A SENSITIVE SELECTION

http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/7615096/richard-...

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See more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/7615096/richard-...

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NEPAL SHAMANISM AND TRIBAL SCULPTURE

-NEPAL. SHAMANISM AND TRIBAL SCULPTURE, Christian Lequindre, Marc Petit.

In collaboration with NEPAL TRIBAL ART

see more on:

http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/7575469/nepal-ch...

and

www.nepaltribalart.com 

-About the Authors of  NEPAL. SHAMANISM AND TRIBAL SCULPTURE:

-MARC PETIT

 Writer and collector, he has donated a collection of masks from Nepal to the Musée des Arts Premiers Quai Branly, Paris. 

Among his books:

- « A Masque découvert, regards sur les arts primitifs de l’Himalaya », Stock, 1995.

- « La Statuaire archaïque du Népal occidental », Renaud Vanuxem, 2006.

-« Le Masque de la Chine », Musée Jacquemart André, Actes Sud, 2007.

-CHRISTIAN LEQUINDRE 

Photographer and collector, he has been resident in Nepal since the 1980s.

He carried out multiple field studies between 1995 and 2005 and produced three documentaries on different masks traditions in Nepal.

He has also directed the Annapurna Gallery in Paris from 1989 to 1995.

Publisher: Infolio

http://www.nepaltribalart.com/index.asp?p=100

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13/12/2009

Kings of the forest, the cultural resilience of Himalayan hunter-gatherers. Jai Purnima Festival Patan.-Faces of Devotion, Indian Sculpture From the Figiel Collection On view April 10, 2010 to January 16, 2012 Peabody Essex Museum (MA)

Kings of the Forest:

The Cultural Resilience of Himalayan Hunter-Gathers , by Jana Fortier, University of Hawaii Press, 2009.

09

A hunter-gatherer society is one whose primary subsistence method involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals from the wild, foraging and hunting without significant recourse to the domestication of either.

 "There is no need for us to live like you."

The RAUTE PEOPLE of the Karnali and Makahali regions of Western Nepal is a nomadic indigenous ethnic group, which population is estimated in around 650 persons, their language is classified as Tibeto-Burman, closely related to the one spoken by two related ethic groups, the Ban Raji and Raij , the closest documentated language to the Raute is probably the Chepang, spoken by this ethnic group of West-Central Nepal. Officially recongnized by the Nepalese Government, the Raute are known for their life-subsistence linked with the  hunting of  macaque, langur monkeys, bats, porcoupine, and the gathering of wild forest tubers, fruits, and greens. To obtain grain, iron and cloths they trade handmade typical wooden bowls and boxes to the local farmers. The Raute however don't sell other products of the forest, bushmeat or forest medicinal plants.

In the present  world  this last  primitive hunter-gatherer society  living in the monsoons rainforest of Western Nepal  struggles with the  deforestation and encroachment, language loss, political domination by surrounding communities.  The book explores how this ethnic group is tryong to maintain its traditional way of life .

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*

 MASQUES de l'HIMALAYA ,

Martigny - Valais - Suisse 16 May 2009 a fin Decembre 2010 - Fondation Bernard et Caroline de Watteville Fondation a but culturel.

himalayan Mask at Martigny 2

Rue du Levant 34 1920 Martigny Tel. 41 (0) 27 720 49 20

himalayan Masks at Martigny 3

www.museesaintbernanrd.ch

himalayan mask Martigny

See more on: http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/7254349/masques-...

-Shamans holding Dhyangro drums, Rasuwa Disrict.

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Photo courtesy Ujjwal Pyakurel "Prayas" Katmandu Nepal. See more on http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/post/6909408/dhyangro...

-JAI PURNIMA FESTIVAL PATAN. Photos courtesy Vincent Van den Berg http://web.mac.com/vincentvandenberg/shi/Index.html .

 

JAI PURNIMA FESTIVAL (4)

 

(http://web.mac.com/vincentvandenberg/shi/Index.html)

-The nepalese shaman is the bridge, the link and mediator between the real and invisible world.

The double sided membrane drum Dhjangro is the peculiar, indispensable, and one  of the most important, pharaphernalia of the western nepal  shamans.

Small metal objects and seeds are hooked inside the drum.

The drumstick is named Gajo.

JAI PURNIMA FESTIVAL (6)

(http://web.mac.com/vincentvandenberg/shi/Index.html)

A rich group of phurba daggers and Dhyangro handles is edited in Art Chamanique Népalais, Editions Findakly, Catalogue of the exhibition Masques & Arts Tribaux Himalayens, Galerie Le Toit Du Monde Paris 2007. http://www.letoitdumonde.net/actualites/index.html

DHYANGRO HANDLES AND PHURBUS

Other items are present in Art Tribal Du Nepal, Les Editions Errance, Catalogue of the omonimous exhition at the Ile Du Demon Galerie, 1981 Paris.


The handle of the drum has the same  iconogrphy of another 'weapon' of the Nepalese shamans, the ritual and talismanic dagger named in Tibetan phurba and in Sanskrit Kila,  used to restrain evil entity and harmful occult influences.

The iconography  of the Dhyangro handle  can vary from one local group to another, from the geometric to the more elaborate and figurated style.

According the research of Mr Michael Oppitz this kind of artifact is an exception among the normal iconography of the Asian shamans drums, in which we can find the prevalence of single-faced streched frame drums.

The single-faced shamanic's drum is diffused also in Nepal, Mr Oppitz divides the localization of these drums in three regional and local  categories: the Dhaulagiri  type localized  among the North Magar Shamans, the Chantel, Bhuja Khola and the Kami of the Jajarkot district; a second tipology diffused in the Annapurna area and used by the Thakali and Gurung shamans; a third kind called of the "jungle" charachteristic of the Chepang shamans. ('The metamorphosis of a Ritual object' in Art Chamanique Népalais, Editions Findakly, Catalogue of the exhibition Masques & Arts Tribaux Himalayens, Galerie Le Toit Du Monde Paris 2007.

JAI PURNIMA FESTIVAL

http://web.mac.com/vincentvandenberg/shi/Index.html)

 

The double sided drum Dhyangro has a close morphological, but not iconographic, affinity with the analogous double sided tibetan drum called NGA-CHEN in which we can re-find an handle, in a form of lotus, installed in the wodden frame of this double sided instrument.

According Mr Eric Chazot some shamans of the western Nepal don't use the drum themselves, so the musical accompaniment, essential for the trance, is provided by the untouchables (Art and Shamanism in the Himalayas, on Tribal Arts, 1:1/2000) http://www.tribalarts.com/feature/himalayas/

In the two following pics an assistant of the shaman hold an holy vase bumba.

JAI PURNIMA FESTIVAL (2)

(http://web.mac.com/vincentvandenberg/shi/Index.html)

The top section of the Phurbus/Dhyangro handle is normally constituted of three faces with different expressions representing human emotions: one  wrathful, one indifferent, the third Joyful.

 A Vajra (in Sanskrit or rdo-rje in Tibetan) or thunderbolt-diamond is carved in the central part of the item held in place by "eternal knots". On the top of the triangular blade of the Dhyangro handle/phurba we can normally find the representation of the sea-divinity named  Makara (in sanskrit,chu-srin in Tibetan) a monster half crocodile and half elephant. Seldom the makara is replaced with the effigy of Garuda or like in one example of our collection by the really geometric representation of a ram-head. Rarely by anthropomorphic figures. In one piece of our collection the makara figure is 'crowned' with three human primitive faces.

JAI PURNIMA FESTIVAL (3)

(http://web.mac.com/vincentvandenberg/shi/Index.html)

According to Mr Francoise Pannier the central structure of the item, in which the Vajra is positioned vertically above the skull of the Makara could recall the myth of Indra freeing the waters of the earth and killing the serpent Vritra who  had stolen all the water of the world ('Phurbu, Un hypothese sur ses origines' in Art Chamanique Népalais, Editions Findakly, Catalogue of the exhibition Masques & Arts Tribaux Himalayens, Galerie Le Toit Du Monde Paris 2007). http://www.letoitdumonde.net/actualites/index.html

The blade bursts from the jaws of the Makara and  has a three sided strucure, in which are traditionally carved single or entwined pairs of snakes (naga in sanskrit, klu in Tibetan). Their talismanic presence gave to the item the power to make it rain, they are also the guardians of the water and of the undeworld.
Others subjects carved on the singles blades are the moon and the sun, the trident (Trisul) symbol of the God Shiva, representation of shamans in namaste posture or holding a Dhyangro, the ritual vase  bumba, the water bowls etc.

For an iconographic's anthology of bumba simbols see on ART CHAMANIQUE NEPALAIS - NEPALESE SHAMANIC ART, pag. 80/81 Editions Findakly 2007. http://www.letoitdumonde.net/actualites/index.html

-Faces of Devotion, Indian Sculpture From the Figiel Collection On view April 10, 2010 to January 16, 2012  Peabody Essex Museum (MA)

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The Peabody Essex Museum (MA) recently acquired the Dr. Leo Figiel Collection of Indian sculpture––widely-regarded as the finest collection of its kind.

This exhibition presents a dramatic selection of ritual bronzes spanning the last millennium featuring depictions of deified heroes, pastoral gods and goddesses, and totemic animal spirits. These bronzes were principally made for Hindu ritual practice in the west and southwest regions of India and are the best examples of local and vernacular artistry. A complement to neighboring galleries of traditional and contemporary Indian art, this exhibition offers an opportunity to explore the connections between India’s artistic past and present.