སྙིང་བོ་རྒྱལ་དང་སཱོ་ལི་མིན་རེས་ནཱོ། ༢༠༡༠། Snying bo rgyal and R Solomon Rino. 2010. ལྷ་པ། ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡའི་མཐོ་སྒང་བསམ་བརྗོད། གླེགས་བམ ༣། ཤོག་གྲངས ༢༧༧། DEITY MEN. Asian Highlands Perspectives. Vol 3. 277 pages.




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དེབ་འདིས་ཀྲུང་གོའི་མཚོ་སྔོན་ས་ཁུལ་གྱི་ལྷ་པའི་འཚོ་བ་དང་། དེའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས། ཆོས་ལུགས་་་་་་་

བཅས་ཀྱི་འགྱུར་ལྡོག་ལ་ཞིབ་འཇུག་གཏིང་ཟབ་མོ་ཞིག་བྱས་ཡོད་ལ། རྩོམ་པ་པོས་ཞིབ་བརྗོད་་་་

བརྒྱུད་ནས་ལྷ་པའི་དམངས་སྲོལ་ལ་མཐོང་ཆེན་དང་དེ་ཉམས་རྒུད་དུ་འགྲོ་བཞིན་་་པའི་གནས་

བབ་གསལ་བསྒྲགས་ཀྱང་བྱས་ཡོད། དེབ་འདིས་ཨེ་ཤེ་ཡའི་ཆོ་ག་དང་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ལ་ཤེས་རྟོགས་་་་

བྱ་བར་དཔྱད་གཞིའི་རྒྱུ་ཆའི་ཐད་ནས་མཛད་རྗེས་མི་དམན་པ་བཞག་ཡོད།

This is a comprehensive and extremely informed study of the changing social context and religious lives of lha pa, 'deity men' or god men,' in Qinghai Province, China. Snying bo rgyal and Rino's account of these Tibetan trance mediums who become possessed by mountain deities succeeds in both honoring the past through a detailed description of their practice while acknowledging the increasing challenges to these traditions. This book is an important contribution to the documentation and understanding of Asian ritual and society.

-- -- མར་ཁཱི ཐྲུའུ་རིན། (གྲངས་འཛིན་ཧི་མ་ལ་ཡ་ལས་གཞི ཁམ་སྦི་རེས་ལྗི་སློབ་གྲྭ་ཆེན་མོ།)


Dr. Mark Turin, Director, Digital Himalaya Project, University of Cambridge, UK

A carefully researched and splendidly illustrated study of a very special Tibetan village and its traditions in the multicultural Reb gong region of A mdo. The focus is on the rituals and religious beliefs connected with the trance mediums called lha pa, also known as Tibetan 'shamans.' Based on field observations, interviews, and comparative evidence, this is descriptive and analytic anthropology at its best. The volume includes authentic texts and a glossary.

--Dr. Juha Janhunen, University of Helsinki

This is a fascinating ethnographic study of spirit mediums in A mdo revealing how their activities are being transformed in a rapidly changing world.

--Dr. Hildegard Diemberger, Director, Tibetan Studies, Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge

The lha pa of the villages of the Reb gong area have drawn attention from both Tibetan authors and foreign scholars in recent decades, but were often seen only as a marginal part of glu roll/klu rol festivals. Until now the information on them was very limited and stemmed mostly from the observation of the festival, which was then described and interpreted from the point of view of an outer observer. This invaluable book gives space to the voices of local people and lha pa intentionally. Containing a large amount of ethnographical data, testimonies and narrations of local people, it draws the reader to their worldview and everyday life in an unprecedented way. It brings down to earth some of the scholarly speculations on the festivals and contains a great deal of new information on Tibetan lha pa in general. It cannot be omitted by any researcher on the given area. Congratulations to the authors.

--Dr. Daniel Berounsky, Charles University, Prague

The authors, one an A mdo Tibetan, present a rich body of narratives, descriptions and historical details about the klu rol, one of the most intriguing and intense series of rituals enacted in eastern Tibet. Extensive testimony is presented from those involved, including several of those who are possessed by local deities during the klu rol, along with translations of the ritual texts. This is a rich and valuable resource for all scholars working in the region.

--Dr. Fernanda Pirie, Oxford University

In this thoroughly documented study of lha pa in three villages of Reb gong County, Snying bo rgyal and R. Solomon Rino collect and present an extraordinarily detailed and rich set of testimonies, observations, and photographs about the setting, rituals, perspectives of and about the trance mediums, and how these are all rapidly changing. The authors choose to minimize their own commentary in order to let the lha pa speak: for themselves to the fullest extent possible. The painstaking details, including footnotes, Tibetan glossary, village map, and translation of relevant scriptures, will be of great interest to specialists and others interested in Tibetan culture. Among the fascinating topics covered are the lha pa's experiences of their own possession and depossession by mountain deities, their self-perception, controversies over authenticity, and the ways in which these practices intersect in unexpected ways with new policies such as the 'New Socialist Countryside.'

--Dr. Emily T. Yeh, Department of Geography, University of Colorado

Rich in illustrations and ethnographic detail, this valuable work describes the little-known world of Tibetan trance mediums and their rites from an insider's perspective.

--Dr. Mark Bender, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University

Snying bo rgyal and Rino write meticulously about lha pa in a way that provides a rich source of data for future scholars.

--Dpal ldan bkra shis, Humboldt University, Berlin

This is an extremely lucid and intricately rendered description of Tibetan 'deity mediums,' an important cultural and political phenomenon in the A mdo Tibetan region of Reb gong. The authors' careful translations of interviews with young and older mediums in one village provides readers with a rare glimpse at the shifting dynamics of the once-central institution of deity possession among farming Tibetans in reform-era China.

--Dr. Charlene Makley, Reed College

Deity Men is a rare insider's look into the world of Tibet's trance mediums and the deities they embody.

--John Vincent Bellezza



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