Tristram Riley-Smith: Newar Collection

The World Oral Literature Project is pleased to host the Nepalese field tapes of Tristram Riley-Smith. These audio recordings were taken in Patan, Nepal, in the course of Riley-Smith's doctoral research amongst the community of Newar Buddhist artists during 1979 and 1980. The recordings in this collection include music, songs, interviews and vocalised drumming.

Collection Details:

Collection: Riley-Smith Newari Collection
Collector: Tristram Riley-Smith
Date(s): 1979, 1980
Language(s): Newari


1. Drum Talk and Drumming
Morning with Naresh, who’s finished his 11-headed Lokeswor: I photograph it + pics of his grand-dad which I don’t think come out. I also record him and his friend speaking and playing different tal of the dhaa – deo layagu, chore (one part) and jutti.
[Archive] [Listen to audio]


2. Drum Training
Naresh visits again this morning. More very interesting info learnt. I persuade him to chant one of the drum sequences he’s learnt, which I tape: called Deo Layagu it is to be played outside a shrine (as opposed to the longer “Chore” which is played on processions through the town). I try to quiz him on different sounds and their relation to different beats: “khin” and “kha” refer to striking the drum with a stick as held in the left hand; “Ta” = a slap with the right hand with fingers splayed open (on one point of drum face – Naresh can’t remember whether it’s at the centre or the side); while “NURRA” refers to a finger run (a 4-hit tattoo using index finger first through to little finger last).
[Archive] [Listen to audio]


3. Newari Samgit Conversation
A conversation in Newari with Samgit perhaps about the Newari Birthday ritual.
[Archive] [Listen to audio]


4. Newari Samgit Conversation
A conversation in Newari with Samgit perhaps about the Newari Birthday ritual.
[Archive] [Listen to audio]


5. Sounds of Music and Worship in Uku Baha, Patan
Sounds of music and worship played in the courtyard of Uku Baha.
[Archive] [Listen to audio]


6. Performance of Nau Bajan in the Courtyard of Uku Baha
The Nau Bajan lasts eight days, and like the rest of the musical events Uku Baha is involved in, it occurs only once every ten years. This evening it began circa 5.45pm, with 5 dhaa players and two gushyas playing chores; later joined by a Jogi (who came into the sunken part of the courtyard) and the nyekhu players who were in the northern digi. Music was in the courtyard to the n-w of the shrine, beyond the statue of Rana.
[Archive] [Listen to audio]


7. Performance of Nau Bajan in the Courtyard of Uku Baha
The Nau Bajan lasts eight days, and like the rest of the musical events Uku Baha is involved in, it occurs only once every ten years. This evening it began circa 5.45pm, with 5 dhaa players and two gushyas playing chores; later joined by a Jogi (who came into the sunken part of the courtyard) and the nyekhu players who were in the northern digi. Music was in the courtyard to the n-w of the shrine, beyond the statue of Rana.
[Archive] [Listen to audio]


8. Gathu Piachan
Conversation between Riley-Smith and unidentified informant discussing the Newari festival of Gathu Piachan.
[Archive] [Listen to audio]