Influence of Spiritualistic Belief on Musical Performance in Traditional Ritual: Mahesak City Guardian Ceremony in Champasak

  •  Chalermpol Ataso    
  •  Pratompong Na Champasakdi    


In early March, Mahesak city guardian ceremony is yearly held in Champasak, Lao People’s Democratic Republic to commemorate the city guardian spirits that were previously believed to protect Lao ancestors from unexplainable natural phenomena. Since the melody of music was believed to mediate the communication between human-beings and invisible city guardians, the sound of Piphat ensemble has become the heart of Mahesak ceremony. Therefore, in this study, the details of significance and religious implication of Mahesak ceremonial music via the sound of Piphat were elucidated. The variety in tunes and rhythms of Mahesak ceremonial songs exhibit the hierarchy of sacred sensations to worship different city guardians with the use of spiritual mediators as sequential representatives of each city guardian. These matters reflect the combination of primordial belief in guardian spirits amongst Lao people, despite the predominance of Buddhism in Lao People’s Democratic Republic nowadays.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9655
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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