The Story of the Weeping Camel

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Rating: 9.8/10 (18 votes cast)
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During Spring, a family of nomadic shepherds assists the births of their camel herd. The last camel to calve this season has a protracted labor that persists for two days. With the assistance and intervention of the family, a rare white calf is born. This is her first calving. Despite the efforts of the shepherds, the mother rejects the newborn, refusing it her milk and fails to establish a care-bond with it.

To restore harmony between the mother and calf, the nomadic family call upon the services of group of lamas who perform a ritual with bread or dough ‘effigies’ (Tibetan: torma) of the mother, the calf and the individual members of the family. The rite opens with the sound of a sacred conchshell horn followed by bells in the hands of lamas, some of whom wield ‘vajra’ (Sanskrit). The rite takes place with members of the extended nomadic community and a number of lama at a sacred place that consists of one end of a log, or wooden pole, set in the earth, with the other end raised to the sky: a stylized ‘victory banner’ (Sanskrit: Dhvaja) with a piece of blue fabric entwined around it, functioning as a prayer flag (darchor-style). The log is supported by a cairn of rocks at its base as foundation. The ritual does not re-establish harmony between the mother and calf.

The family then resolve to secure the services of an indigenous ‘violinist’ to play the music for a Mongolian ‘Hoos’ ritual. They send their two young boys on a journey through the desert to the community marketplace to locate a musician. The ‘violinist’ –who plays more precisely, a Morin Khuur– is summoned to the camp and a ritual of folk music and chanting is enacted. The musician first drapes the morin khuur on the first hump of the camel to establish a sympathetic magical linkage between the mother and the state of harmony represented by the instrument. Then once this is done removes the instrument and commences to play. As the musician sounds the Mongolian ‘violin’, the female family member who lulled her child to sleep with a lullaby earlier in the documentary, repeatedly entones the calming sounds and beautiful melody of the ‘hoos’. At this point, the mother camel starts to weep, tears visibly streaming from her eyes. Immediately after the rite the mother and calf are reconciled and the calf draws milk from her teat.

The Story of the Weeping Camel , 9.8 out of 10 based on 18 ratings

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  • http://www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com PeachyTO

    I loved this film so much that I had to blog about. You can check out what I wrote here: http://booksnakereviews.blogspot.com/2010/05/fridays-flick-documentary-edition_28.html

    • Camelot

      This site is for documentraries, this isn’t one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vivian-Ann-Langston-Williams/100000490307518 Vivian Ann Langston-Williams

      Your welcome to snatch n quote my comment and add it to your blog ! <3 this sooo much! 

  • Gary M.

    This is a documentary about nature, harmony, love, family, tradition, beautiful people, young and old, life, teaching, learning, adapting, growing up and with a happy ending on top of it. I love it.

  • DEB

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC – ITS SO REFRESHING IN THIS DAY OF BELOW PAR REGULAR PROGRAMMING…….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vivian-Ann-Langston-Williams/100000490307518 Vivian Ann Langston-Williams

    I loved this film/documentary – it was wonderful , full of love,and culture so full of know how , and tenderness, and come the end of the film, the singing and playing of the instrument , and the almost magical like healing the mother camel was brought to was so beautiful I almost felt like I was intruding by watching. I think the 2 days of pain and very difficult birth is what made her reject her colt. And it’s like the song the woman sang,along with the affection of her touch, and the instrument music,healed and touched the mother camel in a way that her bond “block” with colt just some how intensely and softly and emotionally melted fully away! <3 this was different and awesome !  

  • Shamamagreen

    i spent the last 6 months feeding lambs by bottle that were rejected for an assortment of reasons by their mothers. the mongolian way of healing the bond is beyond magical. i never dreamed such harmony and connection could exist between the herders and the animals. this story is about respect. the gentle way is the spiritual way to heal the wounds. i feel like i was in a dream world watching this film. how wonderfulthat  people with such heart are still able to live in the way they choose and the way their ancestors chose.

  • Shamamagreen

    i spent the last 6 months feeding lambs by bottle that were rejected for an assortment of reasons by their mothers. the mongolian way of healing the bond is beyond magical. i never dreamed such harmony and connection could exist between the herders and the animals. this story is about respect. the gentle way is the spiritual way to heal the wounds. i feel like i was in a dream world watching this film. how wonderfulthat  people with such heart are still able to live in the way they choose and the way their ancestors chose.

  • Duane

    Excellent cultural immersion. Thanks so much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/zack.mitchell.7564 Zack Mitchell

    good