Daba - Portrait of a Na Shaman

© Cai
40 minutes / Colour / 1999
Directed by
Hua Cai

Country of production China

After more than a quarter of a century without any form of religious ceremony, the Na, an ethnic group living on the Himalayan plateau, began openly practising their religion again in the early 1990s. Their priests are called daba. Among the few old shamans who are still living today, Dafa Luzo is the most remarkable. As the main character in the film, we see him looking after his farm and his family, as well as performing rituals to expel all unclean spirits and demons and honour the ancestors. His main worry, and his greatest hope, is to make sure his knowledge is safely handed down to the next generation.

Language and subtitles Original Version with English Subtitles

Region South-East Asia

Country China

Keywords Education / Knowledge transmission Religion / Belief / Faith Shamans and Shamanism