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Tingvong: A Lepcha Village in Sikkim (2005)

Tingvong: A Lepcha Village in Sikkim

60 minutes  2005


The film illustrates the changes the Lepcha of the Dzongu reserve, North Sikkim, have been through in the last 60 years.


From the 1940s, the Lepcha of Tingvong village gradually abandoned hunting, gathering and the slash and burn cultivation of dry rice, and became settled agriculturalists.  Entire mountains sides were converted to cardamom and terraced for the cultivation of irrigated paddy.  The irrigated rice and the cardamom cash crop not only brought the Lepcha within Sikkim’s market economy but helped create a surplus which could among other things be invested in religion.


In the 1940s, the Lepcha of Tingvong embraced Buddhism and all its complex rituals without however abandoning their strong shamanic traditions. Today, both forms of rituals amiably co-exist in the village.


Cinematographer: Dawa T Lepcha
Anthropologist and project coordinator: Anna Balikci-Denjongpa
Visual anthropology advisor: Prof. Asen Balikci
Produced by the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok, Sikkim.


‘Tingvong’ was screened at the following film festivals:


1. Film Festival of the Royal Anthropological Institute in Oxford, Sept 2005
2. Beeld voor Beeld, Amsterdam 2005
3. North-East Documentary Film Festival, Shillong 2005
4. Bilan du Film Ethnographique, Paris 2006
5. Moscow International Ethnographic Film Festival 2006
6. Belgrade International Ethnographic Film Festival 2006
7. Himalayan Film Festival, Amsterdam 2007
8. Himalayan Film Festival, Tokyo, Oct 2008


The film won a prize at the North-East Documentary Film Festival in Shillong, 2005.


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