Friday, November 4, 2011

Invitation : Saturday Photography

Dear all,
As a first round of Saturday Photography, we are going to watch the Shree Pachali Bhairav mask dance on November 5, 2011.
You are invited to join us. We will meet at Ambe Complex (Nano Car Showroom), Teku at 10.00 am and proceed to Jyabahal on Saturday.
Razen Manandhar
Pachali Bhairav mask dance
Shree Pachali Bhairav (Gathu Pyakhan), is one of the historical masked-dances of Kathmandu Valley.
This dance is said to have been started around 470 years ago. It portrays assembly of protector goddess of the valley, the god Bhairav and their two guards. It generaly presents the celebrations they make after they defeat/kill the demon. It is performed by adult males. They wear traditional dreses, heavy ornaments and heavy clay-paper masks with metal and flower decorations. Once they start wearing the masks, they move on a state of "trance". They are said to be unconsicous and a divine power rules them. In certain occasions, during secret seremonies, they even suckle fresh blood from sacrificed animals!
It is socially attatched event. Local people not only enjoy the dance but also pray to the dancers in masks as real gods and goddesses. So they offer rice, eggs, fruits and animals to them. This is how the tradition moves on.
It is run by the Mali, Malakar and Banmali families of the Newars. They have trust like organization and the members have separate role to play to make this century-old organization alive in today's context.
The participants:
1. Mahalaxmi (orange, trhee eys)
2. Ganesh (white, three eyes)
3. Bramhayani (white, U shape tika)
4. Rudrayani (white, three eyes)
5. Kaumari (red, marks on cheeks)
6. Narayani (green, U shape tika)
7. Barahi (red, pig's nose, eye tika)
8. Manamayju (Indrayani, horizontal eye tika)
9. Kali (blue/red, wrinked face with eight points)
10. Bhiarav (blue, big eyes, big face)
11. Singhini (white, lion-faced)
12. Bhangini (orange, tiger-faced)
13. Swait Bhairav (white, looks like Shiva, comes out only occassionaly)
This dance festival is celebrated only once in every 12 years. During this period, it is performed over a dozen times in different places of the valley.
It starts on the tenth day of the Dashain. This year, it came out on October 6, from the temple of Pachali Bhairav, on the banks of the Bagmati river, by Teku. It is generally called "Shree Pachali Bhairav Khadga Siddhi Jatra". Traditionally, it was believed that the monarchs of this country used to have power to rule the country from the god Bhairva of this dance. Ceremonially, on the first day, the Bhairav exchanges his sowrd with the king at Bhutisaa of Kasthamandap Temple. Now, in this republic setting, the ceremony was done by offering the divine sword to the ground.

Razen Manandhar

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