Endangered Tibetan art recorded for preservation

Lhasa, Dec 14 (IANS) Tibet’s culture department has completed recording an ancient performance art in order to preserve the dying tradition, the regional cultural protection centre announced on Monday.

Known as “Lamamani” in Tibetan, the storytelling technique was once popular in the capital city Lhasa as well as Xigaze and Shannan prefectures. The artists tell Buddhist folktales depicted on Thangka paintings by mixing talking and singing, Xinhua news agencyn reported.

Among all the variations of “Lamamani”, Lhasa’s technique is the most famous.

Trinley Chodar, 76, is the only living performer to receive training directly from masters in the Lhasa style of “Lamamani”, said Ngawang Tenzin, deputy director of the centre.

The centre has made detailed images, texts, and video materials surrounding Trinley’s life, performance and techniques to ensure the endangered tradition is preserved, Ngawang Tenzin said.

The videos and transcripts will be digitalised and stored in a database.

A CD recording of Trinley’s performance has been published. The centre has also been searching for proper apprentices for Trinley. So far, a folk art troupe in Lhasa has sent four performers to learn from him.

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