Mu Dhimay Bājan

Perhaps the most common native Newar devotional musical ensemble is the Dhimay Bājan. This form is exclusively done by the Newar farmers (Jyāpu), who bring their bājan to worship both Hindu and Buddhist deities. The dhimay includes one or more drummers playing an oversized drum (Dhimay) with a light drumstick joined by a single player of a large clanging gong that provides a steady beat.

The ensemble is called “Mu Dhimay Bājan” when on major festival occasions there is the addition of a difficult individual performance linked to the pulsing music: a strong man “circle-whirling” a very long slightly cured bamboo pole affixed with one or more yak tail tassels and colorful flags. Keeping his balance and the pole upright, he twirls the pole around in front of his body and, more difficult yet, passes it around and behind him, changing hands in the process, never losing control.


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