China Pictorial (English)

Tibetan Opera

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Originatin­g over 600 years ago, Tibetan Opera is now considered a living fossil of Tibetan culture. Because of the varied natural conditions, living customs, cultural traditions, and dialects in different places on the Qinghai-tibet Plateau, Tibetan Opera has many varieties and genres.

The plays of Tibetan Opera follow a fixed structure composed of three parts: The first part, Dun, is an opening ceremony with singing and dancing to worship the gods. The second part is Xiong, the main narrative of the story. The epilogue, Tashi, features a ritual blessing to conclude the performanc­e. Performers wear no makeup but masks.

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