The Nomadic Sacrifice

The Chöd Pilgrimage among the Bönpo of Dolpo (Western Nepal)

In the heart of the Himalayas, some officiants belonging to Tibet’s ancient religion, Bön, undertake a long ritual pilgrimage through wild and inhospitable terrain inhabited by mountain gods, genii, demons and the restless souls of the dead.

Using instruments fashioned from human bone, the officiants evoke the presence of invisible beings in order to celebrate the symbolic sacrifice of their own body (chöd) which is offered as to the spirits as food during a singular ritual banquette.

 

Martino Nicoletti, The Nomadic Sacrifice, Le loup des steppes, 2015

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Descrizione

Texts, diary excerpts, images and an unedited short film shot by the author retell this archaic ritual steeped in spiritual meaning. Also included is a previously unpublished translation of the sacred ritual text The Secret Wisdom Dākinī (Khandro Sangba Yeshe) by Geshe Gelek Jinpa.

 

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