Free Spirit Festival Free Spirit Festival - celebration of Tibetan art and culture, especially reflecting contemporary life.

Bhuchung Gyurmey

Lama Mani is a religious storyteller, who travels from place to place with a small shrine and a set of large Thangka paintings, with a role to bring Dharma to the unlettered people in remote areas.

Lama Mani The Thangka paintings are used to illustrate the principal teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, and are accompanied by songs and gestures which form an integral part of this tradition.

These storytellers are not scholars or members of the religious hierarchy. Instead, they have humble origins and easy access to people of all backgrounds.

The tradition of Lama Mani in Tibet stretches back to at least the 12th century, but today this storytelling tradition is slowly dying within the Tibetan culture. Amongst the Tibetan exile community of over 130,000 the last Lama Mani, Bhuchen Gyurmey, passed away in February 2004.

Bhuchung Gyurmey learned the art of Lama Mani from his monk-uncle when he was thirteen years old. He became a full-fledged Lama Mani upon the uncle's death seven years later. Bhuchen escaped from Tibet in 1959 after China occupied the country.

He passed away at his exiled home in Dickey Ling Tibetan settlement near Dehra Dun, India, aged in his late 70s.