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The Trickster

Page history last edited by hgayley@... 10 years, 7 months ago




Aku Tonpa is a Tibetan folk hero and trickster figure. Emerging from the oral tradition, tales about this fictive figure's exploits always contain a good dose of humor. Stories about Aku Tonpa and similar characters, like Nyicho Zangpo, are now being set down in writing and published.


The story recounted here comes from a collection, titled simply A khu ston pa, published by the Tibetan Minorities Publishing House in Lhasa. The story, "The Trickster" (Bslu brid byed pa), pits the clever opportunism of Aku Tonpa against a naive interlocutor.


The humor of the situation builds in these stories, in part, due to audience expectations about Aku Tonpa's character. This allows the audience to anticipate the conclusion and relish the unfolding of events. In other words, the audience enjoys observing the "trick" without themselves being fooled.







Bde skyid bzang mo (ed.). A khu ston pa. Lha sa: Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, 2002.




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