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Conference given by Pascale Dollfus (CEH) Tuesday 21 January 2020, 6pm

Organised by the Société Européenne pour l’Étude des Civilisations de l’Himalaya et de l’Asie Centrale (SEECHAC)

in the Grand Salon de la Maison de l’Asie, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75016 PARIS

"For the welfare of mankind and the development of doctrine", the art of the Buchens from the Valley of the Clouds in Spiti, western Himalayas

par Pascale Dollfus, social anthropologist, CNRS-Centre for Himalayan Studies

In the Valley of the Clouds in the Spiti, men who call themselves the disciples (Tib. bu-chen, lit. "great sons") of the Tibetan yogi Thangtong Gyalpo (1361-1485), still perpetuate today the art of their master, an atypical religious man to whom tradition attributes the invention of iron suspension bridges but also theatre. Handling paradoxes, excesses and laughter, they teach a profound but accessible teaching to everyone, going from village to village to tell edifying stories. Whether through readings, recitations accompanied by paintings, or sketches that are more pantomime than theatre, the buchen’s performances generally conclude with a spectacular exorcism ritual specific to them, during which the main officiating priest breaks a long block of shale with a round, dense stone, placed on the abdomen of an acolyte lying on his back, in order to kill the demon trapped inside.

View online : SEECHAC