Shépa: The Tibetan Oral Tradition in Choné - cover image

Book Series

Copyright

Bendi Tso, Marnyi Gyatso, Naljor Tsering and Mark Turin acting as Trustees for the Members of the Choné Tibetan Community

Published On

2023-10-04

ISBN

Paperback978-1-80064-800-5
Hardback978-1-80064-801-2
PDF978-1-80064-802-9

Language

  • Chinese
  • English
  • Tibetan

Print Length

804 pages (xxii+782)

Dimensions

Paperback156 x 41 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.61" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 59 x 234 mm(6.14" x 2.32" x 9.21")

Weight

Paperback1107g (39.05oz)
Hardback1303g (45.96oz)

Media

Illustrations7

OCLC Number

1402804683

LCCN

2022361354

THEMA

  • AVLT
  • CFP
  • FNM

BIC

  • CFF
  • HBTD
  • 2GD
  • 2GDT
  • JFHF
  • JFSL
  • 1FPC
  • 1FPCT

BISAC

  • LAN009010
  • LAN009050
  • SOC002010
  • SOC008000
  • SOC011000
  • LAN023000
  • MUS015000

LCC

  • PL3735

Keywords

  • Oral poetry
  • community-led edition
  • linguistics
  • Tibetan oral literature
  • Choné
  • anthropology

Shépa

The Tibetan Oral Tradition in Choné

  • Bendi Tso (author)
  • Marnyi Gyatso (author)
  • Naljor Tsering (author)
  • Mark Turin (author)
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community (author)
Shépa: ‘explanation’ or ‘elucidation’ in Tibetan.
A form of oral poetry sung antiphonally in a question-and-answer style.

This book contains a unique collection of Tibetan oral narrations and songs known as Shépa, as these have been performed, recorded and shared between generations of Choné Tibetans from Amdo living in the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Presented in trilingual format — in Tibetan, Chinese and English — the book reflects a sustained collaboration with and between members of the local community, including narrators, monks, and scholars, calling attention to the diversity inherent in all oral traditions, and the mutability of Shépa in particular.

From creation myths to Bon and Buddhist cosmologies and even wedding songs, Shépa engages with and draws on elements of religious traditions, historical legacies and deep-seated cultural memories within Choné and Tibet, revealing the multi-layered conceptualization of the Tibetan physical world and the resilience of Tibetan communities within it. This vital and unique collection, part of the World Oral Literature Series, situates Shépa in its ethnographic context, offering insights into the preservation and revitalization of intangible cultural heritage in the context of cultural Tibet, Indigenous studies and beyond.

Scholars and students in the fields of anthropology, linguistics, ethnic and minority relations, critical Indigenous studies, Tibetan studies, Himalayan studies, Asian studies and the broader study of China will find much to reward them in this book, as will all readers interested in the documentation and preservation of endangered oral traditions, intangible cultural heritage, performance and textuality, and Tibetan literature and religions.

Endorsements

This trilingual publication is a remarkable accomplishment and a landmark publication in Tibetan studies, making research findings accessible to the community for whom Shepa is a living practice. This is a welcome first publication on the tradition of Shepa as it exists in Chone, in the Amdo region of Eastern Tibet. The collaborative team have contextualized Shepa oration as part of Tibet's rich tradition of oral narratives, and have meticulously transcribed the oral narrations that existed in the memories of the older generation. They provide readers with faithful translations, and preserve the joyous mode of storytelling that fills the grassland.

Tsering Shakya

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Religion and Contemporary Society in Asia at the Institute for Asian Research, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia.

Reviews

More importantly, the book is an invaluable documentation of an oral tradition that is hanging by its thread, made accessible because of the translation of the stanzas into English and Mandarin.

Kunda Dixit

Nepali Times, 2024.

Full Review

Contents

  • Mark Turin
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Bendi Tso
  • Mark Turin
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Bendi Tso
  • Mark Turin
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Bendi Tso
  • Mark Turin
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Bendi Tso
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Mark Turin
  • Bendi Tso
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community
  • Bendi Tso
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Mark Turin
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community
  • Bendi Tso
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Mark Turin
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Bendi Tso
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community
  • Mark Turin
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Mark Turin
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community
  • Bendi Tso
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Mark Turin
  • Bendi Tso
  • Naljor Tsering
  • Marnyi Gyatso
  • Members of the Choné Tibetan Community

Contributors

Bendi Tso

(author)
PhD student in Anthropology at University of British Columbia

Bendi Tso is a sociocultural anthropologist working on borderlands, ethnicity, Indigeneity, and the documentation of oral traditions in China. She is currently working on a book project that examines the negotiation of an essentialized Tibetanness among disparate Tibetan subgroups on the Sino-Tibetan borderland characterized by ambiguity and transition. Bendi Tso received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia (2023) and is an incoming postdoctoral fellow in the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford University (2024).

Marnyi Gyatso

(author)
Postdoctoral Associate at the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University

Marnyi Gyatso is a historian of empires and frontiers in East Asia. He is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Council on East Asian Studies of Yale University. His research focuses on the interaction and exchange between China and Inner Asia from the fourteenth to the twentieth century. He is currently working on a book project that examines China’s transition from empire to nation-state in Inner Asia between 1862 and 1962. He is also editing a book that explores how different ethnic groups along the rivers of the eastern Tibetan Plateau have adapted to, negotiated with, transformed, and interpreted their natural surroundings.

Naljor Tsering

(author)
PhD student in Ethnology, Southwest Minzu University, and in Tibetan History and Philology at École Pratique des Hautes Études, PSL

Naljor Tsering is a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnology at Southwest Minzu University and in Tibetan History and Philology at École Pratique des Hautes Études, PSL. He is also a member of the Center for Research on East Asian Civilizations. His research interests include Tibetan Indigenous beliefs, ritual practices, early Bon treasure literature, and Tibetan oral tradition. He is currently participating in the project entitled “Protecting the Kingdom with Tibetan Manuscripts: Codicological and Historical Analysis of the Royal Drangsong Collection from Mustang, Nepal.”

Mark Turin

(author)
Associate Professor, Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and Department of Anthropology at University of British Columbia

Mark Turin is an anthropologist, linguist and occasional radio presenter, and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Mark Turin writes and teaches on language reclamation, revitalization, documentation and conservation; language mapping, policies, politics and language rights; orality, archives, digital tools and technology. Indigenous methodologies and decolonial practice inform and shape his teaching and research. He is the author or co-author of four books, three travel guides, the editor of twelve volumes, and he edits the World Oral Literature Series with Open Book Publishers.

Members of the Choné Tibetan Community

(author)