Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tibetan hats (ཞྭ་མོ་ / དབུ་ཞྭ་)

The pionier of Tibetan studies, Giuseppe Tucci, mentioned somewhere that the Tibetans are fond of hats. Sanggye Gyatsho (1653-1705), the famous regent of Tibet wrote that Lhasa is the city of different languages and different hat-styles (སཀད་རིགས་ཞྭ་རིགས་མི་གཅིག་པ་ / skad rigs zhwa rigs mi gcig pa).

Below are some illustrations of Tibetan hats (photographed from publications on the Potala murals)

these hats are propably called rtse-zhwa

probably hats from Khalkha ??

left: hats called thang zhu, right: this could be a gzi dom

The famous བོད་རྒྱ་ཚིག་མཛོད་ཆེན་མོ་ (Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo), vol. III, illustrations, lists some hats together with their names.

The hat of Gushri Khan (bstan 'dzin chos kyi rgyal po). Gushri Khan and sde srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho (in front of the Fifth Dalai Lama)

(will be continued ....) 

Tibetan Tents (གུར་)

Tents were an essential part of Tibetan life, but we do not know much about them, at least I who comes from an urban area in Europe. When browsing through Tibetan documents I came across of names of tents which I am going to collect here for further investigation. The documents I look into can be found on the web page of the Kuendeling Archives

The wife of Gushri Khan, Kunchi Gyalmo, presented to the Fifth Dalai Lama for his trip to China in 1652 a huge tent (gur chen bkra shis phun tshogs). The regent Sanggye Gyatsho had this tent pulled out of the store-rooms for the enthronement of the Sixth Dalai Lama. A detailed description of this story is found in the regent's རབ་གསལ་གསེར་གྱི་སྙེ་མ།། (ISBN 7-223-00191-7; pp. 343-344).
Here are some terms of tents. The list will be extended in the course of time. Any comment or a reference to a new name by one of my respected followers will be highly appreciated. In advance I offer a སྙིང་ནས་ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ།། to them.

མཇལ་གུར་ཆེན་མོ། mjal gur chen mo / large audience tent [of the Rinpoche, whoever it may be]
དབུ་གུར། dbu gur / main tent
རྒྱ་གུར། rgya gur / this may be the name of a Chinese style tent? Or a large tent?
ལྡིང་གུར། lding gur / tent of the guards (ལྡིང་དཔོན།)
གཉེར་གུར། gnyer gur / tent of the stewards or storekeepers
མགྲོན་གུར། mgron gur / tent of the མགྲོན་གཉེར།
ཐབ་གུར། or གསོལ་ཐབ་གུར། thab gur / gsol thab gur / kitchen tent
སྟར་མོ། star mo / an axe-shaped tent (in German "Dreieckszelt"), this tent is used by lower staff
ཕྱིང་གུར། phying gur / felt tent, yurt

after all this eating and drinking during a visit to a tent camp do not miss the
ཆབ་གུར། chab gur / the tent "where you can wash your hands" [as understood in the Japanese sense!]

In front four small སྟར་མོ་ tents
(picture from the murals in the Potala)

It is obvious from this list is that the names of these tents refer either to the shape or size of a tent or to the rank or function of the users.

And here are the terms of particular parts of tents or a camp (but they show up in a funny Tibetan font, please refer to the romanized form):

རལུང་གནོན། rlung gnon / a kind of protection against wind or storm. I have no idea how it looked.
བྱ་གཡབ། bya g.yab / various spellings: 'ja'/ja/bya/ g.yab/g.yabs / canopy
འགོ་སཔྲོད། 'go sprod / various spellings: mgo sprod/phrod / entrance part of a tent ??
ཡོལ་སྐོར། yol skor / various spellings: yol sgor / surrounding curtains ??

The canopy is made in some cases of white thick cotton material འགའ་དཀར་བྱ་གཡབ་

(will be continued)