Kangling

Name: Kangling.
Type: Aerophones > Horns >
Hornbostel Sachs No#:
Area: Tibet.
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.

Kangling
Two shin-bone trumpets and skull cup from a Tibetan banner representing attributes of Palden Lhamo ; https://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/L0030388.html

Description: The Kangling [in Tibetan: རྐང་གླིང་།, Wylie: rkang-gling], literally translated as “leg” [kang] “flute” [ling], is the Tibetan name for a trumpet or horn made out of a human tibia or femur. This horn is used in Tibetan Buddhism chöd rituals as well as funerals performed by a chöpa.

A minor figure from Katok Monastery, the First Chonyi Gyatso, Chopa Lugu [17th – mid-18th century], is remembered for his “nightly bellowing of bone-trumpet [kangling] and shouting of phet” on pilgrimage, much to the irritation of the business traveler who accompanied him. Chopa Lugu became renowned as “The Chod Yogi Who Split a Cliff in China [rgya nag brag bcad gcod pa].

Construction:  The leg bone of a criminal or a person who died a violent death is preferred. Alternatively, the leg bone of a respected teacher may be used. The kangling may also be made out of wood.

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