| The Khampti Dance
The Kamptis, who are Buddhists, have many dance-dramas through which they
unfold some stories or depict mythical events bearing ethical lessons.
These dramas are generally staged during the religious festivals of Potwah,
Sankian or Khamsang, constituting the entertainment part of the festivals.
The dance is called ka
and the dance-drama
is called kapung (ka-dance; pung-story) and actually means
a story depicted through the dance. The rehearsal of a drama starts about
one month before a festival. This may be done in the monastery or in any
house of their choice. The well-to-do-villagers invite the drama-party
when the drama is staged in the front courtyard or in some suitable open
space near their house. Women do not take part in the drama. The female
role, if any, is played by a man in woman's costume. After the performances,
the party is given a remuneration of seven, fourteen, twenty-eight or
forty-two rupees-always an amount divisible by seven. They purchase with
this money the costumes and masks used in the dramas. The surpluses, if
any, is shared by the members of the drama party.