Thursday, November 26, 2009

Random notes on kha-btags

Although everyone who knows Tibet and Tibetans knows the use of the kha btags, but there is still more to explore about them. In Tibetan texts we find besides the simple kha btags also the kha btags mthing khra, the btsun btags, the zing btags, and the bkra shis kha btags. Other types are mda' rgyal kha btags and chod dar kha btags.

mda' rgyal kha btags
(Photograph kindly provided by
John Vincent Bellezza)

To what these names refer could be either the material of which the kha btags is made (ding phon kha btags), the place of origin (pi cing kha btags), the colour and design (kha btags mthing khra) or the occasion and purpose when it is given.

ding phon kha btags
kha btags kun bzang mchod sprin ma
kha btags che legs
kha btags dkar mthing
kha btags dkyus legs
kha btags 'dom 'khor ma
kha btags ma rig gnyid sangs ma [che legs]
kha btags nyin padma
kha btags nyin bde ma [che ba]
kha btags dkon cog rin chen ma [che legs]
kha btags rtags brgyad nyin bde ma
kha btags nyin bde chung ba
kha btags yi ge ma [che legs]
kha btags nyin bde ma tshos sna lnga nas
kha btags 'khor lo ma [che legs]
kha btags rnam dbang ma
kha btags dbang ldan ma
kha btags rnam bcu dbang ldan ma [che legs dmar po]
kha btags gser par ma
kha btags pA tse
mda' dar kha btags che legs
mda' dar kha btags gos dmar
nang cing kha btags
nor bu cha bdun gyi ri mo yod pa'i kha btags
pho brang kha btags [khra bo]
pi cing kha btags
rnam gzhag kha btags 
bsod nams kha btags (bsod btags)
gser gyi rtags brgyad yod pa'i kha btags
rtags brgyad kha btags
snyan shal kha btags
dben rtsa kha btags

kha btags dkar dmar sngo gsum
kha btags dkar ser
kha btags tshon sna lnga
kha btags tshos kha sna tshogs
kha btags sngon po yi ge ma [che ba]
kha btags ljang gu zung 'brel yi ge ma [che ba]

All these names are collected from 1) the Fifth Dalai Lama's autobiography, 2) the regent Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho's 'Dzam gling rgyan gcig dkar chag, 3) the Seventh Dalai Lama's collection of letters

I have found some new species in documents from the 19th century:

nang mdzod
bar mdzod
phyi mdzod
san shi
a she
lha sku ma
chos 'don
srid bde
srid bde ser po
bkra shis kha btags dkar po

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