SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Track 3: Ple Kraba Pye

The three-day death commemoration, pai, is the most essential of Tamu ritual events. The family of the deceased muyst sponsr this elaborate event, funding an extended occasion that involves dance and entertainment to which the entire village is invited. 

During the death commemoration, both pachyu and klhyepri shamans have distinct roles. The Tamu believe that the soul of the dead, with evil spirits still attached, roams the village until the pai commemoration has been completed, so the aim of the whole event is to cleanse the soul and send it off to the upper worlds to join other ancestors. As a result of a successful ritual, it is believed that deities and ancestors will feel honoured and will continue to behave benevolently towards the family of the deceased.

In this recording, Parsing Mhauchhai chants and accompanies himself on the ngha frame drum, using 7-beat patterns.