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Cham in the Lepcha Village of Lingthem (2007)

Cham in the Lepcha Village of Lingthem

50 minutes  2007


Every winter, over a period of six days, the lamas of Lingthem’s village monastery hold their annual cham.  These dramatic ritual masked dances impart elementary Buddhist teachings while providing entertainment to villagers. Their main purpose is to remove obstacles and ward off misfortune for the village, its inhabitants and the monastery.  However, for lamas and more serious Buddhist practitioners, these cham and their rituals hold deep philosophical meanings.  In the course of this village event, the deities who emerge in the period between death and rebirth make their rhythmic appearances followed by the Lord of Death who judges one’s good and bad deeds in the after life.


Cinematography and editing: Dawa Tsering Lepcha
Anthropologist and Project Coordinator: Anna Balikci-Denjongpa
Visual Anthropology Advisor: Prof. Asen Balikci
Produced by the Namgyal institute of Tibetology


‘Cham’ was screened at the following film festivals:


1. Himalayan Film Festival, Amsterdam, Feb 2007
2. Film Festival of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Manchester June 2007
3. Seminar of the Gottingen Int. Ethnographic Film Festival, May 2008