Manas 4 (2018), 2.
Published on 08.12.2018 http://manas.bg/en/2018-vol4-2/robova
Embodying the Deities Lha in the Context
of the Religious Beliefs of the Buddhist Dards in Ladakh. – In: Manas: Cultures and Societies of South, East and Southeast Asia: Traditionalism, Dynamics and Globalization, Vol. 4, 2, 2018.
The deity mediums called lhamo/lhapa are a part of the pre-Buddhist folk-religion, spread across the region of Tibetan cultural influence. Their practice could be defined as having shamanic traits. It’s characterized by the ritual possesson of men (lhapa) and women (lhamo) by a variety of local deities called lha, which are able to make divinations, heal illnesses, dispell magic, etc. Here I will explore the specific way this tradition functions within the villages of the Buddhist Dards, where elements of the pre-Buddhist folk-religion are intertwined with the specific Dardic taboos of the community and it’s concepts of ritual purity and pollution.
Keywords: Buddhist Dards, deity mediums, Buddhist, lhamo, lhapa, deities called lha, shamanic traits, Tibet, Ladakh, folk-religion, (Dardic) taboos, Brog-pa