By Hugh Richardson
Booklet by way of Richardson, Hugh
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Extra resources for Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year
The first detachment, that of the senior Depon family of the Gabshi Doring, rides up in front of the Kashag, and the Tsikhang official steps up to the tent and bowing almost double as he sweeps off his hat, announces in a loud voice that the number of men and horses is correct. He is followed in succession by four boys, from the Tsikhang school for aspiring officials, smartly dressed in fine broadcloth with round yellow hats and their hair in neat pigtails down their backs. They come up in turn to the Kashag's tent and bowing deeply report in a shrill voice on different items of the equipment — so many saddles, guns, lances, arrows, pairs of boots and so on.
The Kashag watch from the verandah of the reception room, the Khamsum Tsomchen, over the porch of the Jokhang. Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year The ceremony begins with the arrival of the Shengos and their assistants who march from the Shingra gate, a little way south of the main entrance to the Jokhang. They are attended by their monk police headed by a brawny dabdob, called the Shangpo Shingnyer, carrying a huge wooden pole. They take their seats on a bench below the Dalai Lama's window. Some of the monks go back to the Shingra gate and throw down a bundle o( rods and whips which are taken up by the attendants of the City Magistrates, signifying that control of the city has been handed back to the civil authorities.
There are about fifty of them; most carry large round drums with gilded frames and green backs supported on long handles and beaten with a single long, crooked drumstick. About ten others have small cymbals, sinyen, of a type used in rituals of exorcism. The monks, who are an elite community, are dressed in their best ceremonial clothes with brocade waistcoats and long pleated cloaks called gober, and a pendant on the back, gjabdar, hanging from a rectangular turquoise ornament. They take up position in the forecourt.