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Ritual Journeys (2011)

Ritual Journeys

75 minutes  2011


Ritual Journeys is an intimate portrait of Merayk, an 80 years old Lepcha shaman or Padim.  Merayk lives with his family in Dzongu, a Lepcha reserve in North Sikkim, Eastern Himalayas.  He performs healing rituals for individuals as well as rituals for the well-being of the household, the clan and his village community.  Cameraman Dawa Lepcha followed Meyrak and recorded his daily life and rituals between 2003 and 2010.


The film was awarded a special commendation by the panel of judges (Intangible Cultural Film Prize) at the 12th RAI International Film Festival held at UCL, London, June 2011.


Cinematography: Dawa Tshering Lepcha
Editing: Dawa Tshering Lepcha
Anthropologist and Project Coordinator: Anna Balikci-Denjongpa
Visual Anthropology Advisor: Prof. Asen Balikci
Produced by the Director, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok, Sikkim, India


‘Ritual Journeys’ was screened at the following film festivals:


Film Festival of the Royal Anthropological Institute, London, June 2011 where it was awarded a special commendation by the panel of judges (Intangible Culture Film Prize category)
Freiburg Film Forum, Germany, June 2011
KIMFF, Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, 8-12 December 2011
Worldfilm 2012, Tartu, Estonia, 19-25 March 2012
Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. Screened on 19 May 2012 within the context of the exhibition ‘Les Maitres du Desordre’
VI Moscow International Festival of Visual Anthropology “Mediating Camera”, Moscow, 8-12 October, 2012
SIEFF – Sardinia International Ethnographic Film Festival, Nuoro, 15-23 September 2012


DVDs of ‘Ritual Journeys’ are available at the Institute’s book shop