Friday, August 10, 2007


The shang is a flat ritual upturned handbell employed by Bönpo and Asian shamans. The sizes of the shang range from approximately 3 to 20 inches in diameter. It is traditionally held to have originated in Zhangzhung and is symbolically similar to the tantric dril-bhu. Shang are traditionally consecrated and made of sophisticated metallic alloy.

The Bönpo or shaman may use this instrument as a tool to 'caste' or 'throw' thoughts.

The shang is often used in rites in conjunction with the phurba and namkha. The shang consists of three principal parts: the flat bell part proper; the gankyil which is the centre piece that holds the knocker; and the knocker or striker proper, which is often made of animal horn.

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