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Ache Lhamo in front of Gongkar Dzong, 1939

Lhamo, or Ache Lhamo (literally, "sister goddess") is a Tibetan folk opera. It is a combination of dances, chants and songs, with repertoire drawn from Buddhist stories and Tibetan folklore. Lhamo is part of the People's Republic of China's UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.[1]


In the Tibetan language, the opera is called Al-che-lha-mo, the actor lha-mo-ba and the script khrab-gzhung.


Tibetan opera was founded in the 14th century by Thang Tong Gyalpo, a Lama and a bridge builder. Gyalpo and seven recruited girls organised the first performance to raise funds for building bridges, which would facilitate transportation in Tibet. The tradition continued, and lhamo is held on various festive occasions such as the Linka and Sho Dun festivals.

The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts at Dharamsala, runs an opera company, which produces shows to promote this art form. Brooklyn-based singer Doe Paoro trained there while living in the region, and blends the opera's vocally acrobatic stylings with elements of soul, dubstep, and R&B.

Notable performers[edit]


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External links[edit]