SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

1: Kehy-Teh Ritual Chanting

Village and house protection rituals are conducted annually, or every two or three years in order to prevent disease affecting people and domestic animals. In some cases, a ritual will be held to prevent illness that is already present from spreading. 

This chant is taken from a village protection ritual in which pachyu shamans call down the paramount evil spirit and attempt to defeat him. The Tamu believe that once the evil spirits are defeated, they enter the bodies of a cock and a goat, and so these animals are sacrificed, and the shodows of the spirits are burnt, to protect the village. Usually, a hunting bow would be placed in front of the shamans and a rhythm produced by beating on the string of the bow to symbolise the supreme power of the shamans. 

The complete ritual, usually undertaken in the Nepali kartik and chaitra months, would take about 15-18 hours to perform.