Dance of warriors in absence of local government

Fig: Civil Servants dressed in battle gears during festival with some senior warriors

It is customary for Tshogpas, the community representatives of Drametse to play a part as warriors of the clan during their local festival. But with the dissolution of local government and ongoing primary ground election, finding the warriors for the festival which happens in every twelve month is in question. During the festival the nonelected village messengers (Chipon) are in all time engaged preparing feast for hundreds from long-age, and to pick and choose the acting militia from the farms will be easier said than done. It was then the civil servants under the headship of officiating Geog Administrative Officer decided to partake in it. From the time we made our minds to serve during the festival, we received good number of well wishers fully supporting our move.

Fig: Warriors seated during ritual ceremony
After the training of what to do and what not, we dressed ourselves in the battle gears and marched into the chapel for blessing from the king of spirit warriors, Pekar Gyalpo, the peer of the realm. Having ourselves seated in a row, our duty was to roar load and clear before the effigy of the evils as and when the second commanding chief raises the victory flag. We the warriors then have joined the parade of monks and mask dancers so as to send-off the effigy to where they belong. After having the effigy burnt and roasted by the born fire, a couple of junior warriors followed the chief in dancing on the victory song. The most entertaining part was when the other warrior colleagues poked fun of the victory dancer who in crowd addresses of how great he was in his skills of battling. But such mocking act to one another during victory dance has to be avoided inside the courtyard as a respect to the monastic decorum. The victory dance was then followed by the dance of warriors where we chanted the victory song by raising our swords high in the heavens. It was out of the ordinary to learn that hundreds of farmers came to witness the festival solely to watch the performance of geog in-service persons and we were glad to see satisfaction in their eyes. It was tiring task but yes we enjoyed ourselves as warriors and we wait to serve again provided that we get the opportunity.

Fig: Geydrung Sangay Wangchuk performing victory dance