Tsam Mask Dance
Buddhist Monasteries and temples host a religious ritual of spectacular Mask dance. Lamas wear significant Masks of Buddhist deities along with vibrantly decorated costumes. The dance ritual is accompanied by sounds of gongs and horns. It is believed that protector deities safeguard the nation from all evil and grant a prosperous future. The dance features genuine masks, ritual movements and sound accompaniments. It is a theatrical set bearing the external appearance and characters of different apostles, devils, animal deities and real people. The performance resembles musical climax and outcome of Tsam ritual reflecting characters of dancers in various ways: cruel, calm and humorous.
There are several types of Tsam mask dance. The ensemble presents JakharTsam, which consists of the following characters:
- White old man: symbol of longevity, happiness and prosperity
- Shiva: Symbol of human beauty and power
- Begtse: Symbol of state protection and defeating the enemy
- Gongor: Symbol of prosperity and wealth.
- Shinaga: Symbol of human intelligence and well being
- Yamantaka: Lord of hell, balancer of evil and good, symbol of righteousness.