Tashi Gomang exhibition inaugurated
His Eminence Tsugla Lopen Samten Dorji Rinpoche inaugurated an exhibition on Tashi Gomang: A National Treasure of Bhutan on 5 November, 2016 at the Royal Textile Academy.
The Tashi Gomang Project, under the royal patronage of Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, for the very first time in Bhutan’s history, together with the Royal Textile Academy, in collaboration with the Central Monastic Body and Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, presents a culturally and spiritually noteworthy exhibition of the cen- tury.
The Tashi Gomang: A National Treasure of Bhutan exhibition will be specially showcased for a limited period of time for viewing as well as blessings for both Bhutanese and international audiences visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Though the Lam Manips that accompanied these sacred Tashi Gomangs, singing spiritual songs of devotion and realization to their listeners, were initially from the Central Monastic Body; the responsibility was handed over to Gomchens (lay monks) who were better suited to the Tradition as they were more involved with the communities and villages. These custodians have all but dwindled down to only two surviving Lam Manips: Manip Kunzang Tenzing (72) and Manip Kinley (84) today.
Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother was deeply concerned that this unique 379-year old tradition, now on the verge of extinction, if lost, would be an immense loss, not only for the Kingdom’s rich intangible cultural and spiritual heritage but for the future generations of Bhutanese as well.
Under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty the Royal Grandmother, Dr. Thierry Mathou and Tshering Tashi formed the Tashi Gomang Project to record, conserve and revive the Tashi Gomang and its Lam Manip tradition to ensure the continuity of this exceptional tradition.
The Tashi Gomang Project has been able to record 34 known and registered Tashi Gomangs in the country, out of which 29 have been specially showcased at the Royal Textile Academy (RTA), Thimphu for a limited period of time.
These 29 Tashi Gomangs are being carefully conserved and restored by the Department of Culture, Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs (MoHCA), the Thangka Conservation & Restoration Centre, Central Monastic Body and the skilled Bhutanese craftsmen of Department of National Properties (DNP) for duration of 6 months before they are returned to their respective places.
The Tashi Gomang built by Zow Balip and blessed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel was placed in the Utse or the main tower of the Punakha Dzong. This Tashi Gomang is the jewel of the exhibition.
The exhibition will also include an interactive portion, where visitors can view the monks of the central monastic body performing the lhabsa truelsey and soelkha daily as well as viewing Lam Manip Kunzang Tenzing teaching the apprentice Lam Manip gomchens from Sinphu Goempa, Trongsa