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  4. The lay ritual traditions from eastern Tibet and the Nyen Collection (gNyan `bum)

【令和元年度 一般公募プロジェクト】The lay ritual traditions from eastern Tibet and the Nyen Collection (gNyan `bum)

研究課題  The lay ritual traditions from eastern Tibet and the Nyen Collection (gNyan `bum)

研究代表者 Berounsky,Daniel Institute of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University

本センター担当教員  熊谷誠慈  京都大学こころの未来研究センター 特定准教授

連携研究員  Nyima Wusel Choekhortshang  Charles University,Assistant Professor

The research will focus on relationship of the lay traditions from eastern Tibet (`Phen chu, The bo, Ldong khrom) represented by the surviving manuscripts, and the Collection on Nyen (Gnyan `bum) – an old collection of myths dealing with the Nyen beings and surviving in the Bon Kanjur – which seems to be related to the lore of the given area. Although some local dialects might play role in their unusual orthography and style of the manuscripts under the focus, the main distinction from the well-edited Tibetan Buddhist or Bonpo texts seems to lay in the more significant presence of orality in them. Unfortunately, these traditions were under the enduring pressure from the side of monastic specialists, and it seems that the few remnants of their living tradition present today are strongly influenced by the typical treatment of the manuscripts by Tibetan monastics, i.e. manuscripts are just copied and chanted. However, they bear distinctive inner signs revealing that this was not always the case in the past. Some already published examples of diverse usage of manuscripts from among Primi people and Yi, where they serve merely as tools for much more important oral texts, will be given as well as an evidence for interconnection of the lay ritualist`s lore from eastern Tibet to the ritual tradition of Naxi people.

There is an emerging evidence that the eastern Tibetan traditions of such mundane rituals share some common features with those in Arunachal Pradesh and eastern Bhutan. Amongst others, they concern the frequent appearance of the mythical priest Ya-ngal, Wise Bat, Shenrab Miwo in his priestly form in the myths, or animals figuring in the myths and rituals: monkeys, badger, domestic fowl, pigs, bats – these are typical for the forested edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The latter two traditions can be also connected with similar elements appearing among Naxi, Pumi and other peoples of today’s Sichuan province, which have not been subjected to detailed research by Tibetologists so far.

These areas can be localised to a belt alongside the south-eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The mentioned area stretches from the Cone (Co ne) up in the north-east running south through the Thewo (The bo), Phenchu (’Phan chu) and parts of Zungchu (Zung chu), then further through the areas inhabited by Naxi and Pumi peoples in Sichuan, down to the parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Eastern Bhutan.