Shang (bell)

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The shang (Wylie: gchang) is a Tibetan ritual upturned flat handbell employed by Bonpos and shamans.


Shang range in size from approximately three to 20 inches in diameter, they are traditionally believed to originate in Zhangzhung and are symbolically similar to the dril bu or ghanta.

Shang are traditionally consecrated and made of sophisticated[clarification needed] metallic alloy.


A shang consists of three principal parts: the flat bell part proper; the gankyil, which is the centre piece that holds the knocker; and the knocker or striker proper, which is often made of animal horn.

Traditionally it was believed that wielders use the shang as a tool to "cast" or "throw" tulpas; the shang was also believed to be useful in receiving information from the Eastern or Oriental conception of æther, to induce trance or call spirits. The shang is often used in rites in conjunction with the phurba and namkha.


  • Jansen, Eva Rudy (1995). Singing bowls : a practical handbook of instruction and use. Diever, Holland: Binkey Kok Publications. ISBN 90-74597-01-7.