- 聖徳学園岐阜教育大学紀要 (ISSN:09160175)
- vol.15, pp.57-81, 1988-03-31
One of the most important ceremonies that the bongthing, a kind of shaman of the Lepchas, performes is that of Mt. Kangchenjunga, an abode of the protector of Sikkim as well as of the Lepchas. On the other side of the Kangchenjunga is the legendary land called Mayel inhabited by the immortals who are patrons of crops and fertility and guarded by three demonic brothers, one a guardian of hunters and the other two guardians of Himalayan animals. Bongthing is mythologically said to be the inhabitant of the Tiamtan, an intermediate place between the deities' Rum land and the earth. In the Sikkimese version, Tiamtan is the site where the King Kesar, a legendary hero of Tibetan origin, resided for a while before his incarnation as a savior on the earth. With the tide of modernization of Sikkim, the legendary hero Kesar has become a war god, while the Kangchenjunga is celebrated with national festivity. These cosmological ideas and their changes are discussed here through the analysis of supplementary data obtained in the field research in Sikkim in 1984 and 1986.