Yesterday I came across the most unexpected and wonderful collection of Shamanic Art of Nepal in the Cotswolds!
We found the exhibition at the Alain Rouveure Galleries in Todenham near Moreton in the March. It was a chance find because we were driving round the country lanes in the area. Surprisingly, there are few signs to direct you to it.
There were some amazing costumes and artefacts on display and are all part of an extensive collection that Alain Rouveure started back in the late seventies and subsequently enlarged during his twice yearly visits to Nepal.
Ceremonial dresses are essential parts of the Shaman’s protective outfit and probably the most fragile. They have long wide sleeves and always have a very full skirt that is seen to best effect when the practitioner dances and swirls whilst in full trance.
Sone of the dresses on show are well over 100 years old and made of handwoven handspun cotton dyed with organic dyes. They would have been produced and decorated by the Shaman or especially produced for the Shaman by the local tailor under strict supervision.
Commercial cloths have been used since the 1940s and today Shaman’s new ceremonial dresses are mostly made of brightly coloured cotton but with the same strict codes and design.
Head dresses are an essential part of the Shaman’s ritual costume as it protects the Crown Chakra where spitituality is at its most potent and most vulnerable.
In addition to the costumes and head dresses there were various artefacts on show including Phurpas (wooden daggers), a Dhyangro (wooden drum), the Kangling (a type of flute used by the Shamen), chest armour, Bumba (ritual vase) and a Tchangdar (small portable wooden altar)
The gallery is set in beautiful grounds with a beautiful garden
Well worth a visit if you are in the area.