Phurba dance

Phurba Gar’cham

the black costume of Dorje Phurba

In many traditions of Dorje Phurba, and in wrathful practices in general, black is a dominant colour. In the Aro gTér Phurba Gar’cham shown here (called ‘The Nine Enriching Phurbas’) the costume is relatively simple: a black skirt (nak-chu) and black vest (nak-to). As the dancers in this series of photographs had not yet taken ngak’phang ordination, they wore the ‘tan-chu’ or ‘half-chuba’ skirt, rather than the full shamthab or yogic skirt which would be worn by an ordained Vajrayana practitioner.