Brokpa Yak Dance

The Brokpa yak dance is traditionally performed in the summer months. Two men cozy up inside a bisected wooly yak costume and respectively animate its front and back limbs. Several other men don colorful face masks that conceal their identity but seemingly offer a glimpse of their internal personalities. At first, observers are approached by the “yak.” They offer him white silk scarves (a common gesture of respect in Bhutan), and then feed him several ngultrum coins. This makes the yak happy so he nuzzles the observers with his horns and flirtatiously dances closely. The masked men jump and holler as two nearby musicians clap symbols and pound drums. Now it is the masked men’s turn to take the spotlight. Each one gathered in a row, they begin to perform a series of solos. Each solo is intricate, trance-like, and unique to the performer.