Khashin Khan (Tsam figure)

  • /
  • hwa shang
  • Tsam figure
  • begin 20th century
  • Wood
  • Height: not filled / Width: not filled / Depth: not filled
  • Collection: Hans Leder, Inv. Nr.: 74722
  • Weltmuseum Wien
  • © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM
Several small wooden figures depicting expressively characters of the Tsam dance ceremony (T. ´cham), one of the most important Buddhist festivities, form an extraordinary group within the Leder collections. Twelve figures are housed in the Weltmuseum Wien (the former Museum für Völkerkunde Wien).This figure represents Khashin Khan. During the Tsam ceremony Khashin Khan appears together with six or eight children, who sit at the edge of the dance field during the performance playing various monastic instruments. Khashin Khan performs in a yellow mask with a friendly, smiling expression, wearing a yellow (monk’s) robe with blue cuffs, an incense burner in his right hand and a long rosary around his neck (as in this representation) or with an white khadag (ceremonial scarf), invites the gods and welcomes them when they arrive on the dance field. His role is to come out with his children to meet every mask that appears – by holding a huge khadag as a welcoming present in his hands. After Khashin Khan has come out, the dancing deities appear on the dance field. There are different interpretations for the origin of this figure; for instance, for the Mongolians it is supposed to represent the Manchu ruler Kang-xi, who patronised the spread of Buddhism in Mongolia in the 17th century. (cf. Lang 2013: 67-68, Majer 2008: 109, Berger 1995: 156-157, Yadamsuren 2005: 54, Forman and Rintschen 1967: 74-75, Pozdneyev 1978: 513)
© M.-K. Lang
Khashin Khan (Tsam figure)
/ Mongolia / begin 20th century / Weltmuseum Wien / © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM