Ritual Definition of Borders
Throughout the year, many inhabitants of central Bhutan travel with their herds. In the late spring, they wander from the pastures in the vicinity of the village to the high alpine pastures and only in the Fall do they return. Thereby they follow their Yül* lha who also, depending on the seasons, choose to settle down at various places.
A Sang ritual - with a cleansing incense offering - must be performed by the village community preceding every change of location.
Fom this day on in Spring, there is a dividing line between the village with its surrounding fields and the place of residence of the Yül* lha. After the ritual, the Yül* lha leave the vicinity of the village and dwell in the area of the alpine pastures. If after this ritual a herdsman with his livestock comes near a village, the Yül* lha would be angry and could cause illnesses in the livestock herds.
Prior to the ritual the imaginary border is closed: no one can go to the
high pastures before the melting of the snow until these can carry the herds. And in turn, it is ensured, that the herds do not endanger the fields before the harvest.
By rituals of this type conflicts are avoided, the harmony in the community remains, and nature is utilzed very carefully as the basis for the economy.