It is found among the old, old histories of the Tibetans that a female demon living among the mountains in Northern India mated with a monkey from the forests of Tibet, and from this union sprang the Tibetan race of people. The greater part of their literature is of a sacred nature, telling of their creation, of the formation of the world, of Buddha and his miraculous birth and death, of his reincarnations and the revisions of his teachings.
A kind of almanac, a little astronomy, plans for costing a horoscope, and many books filled with religious teachings and superstitions, including the worship of devils and demons, are about all that can be found.
The little stories in this book are told as the people sit around their boiling tea made over a three stone camp-fire. They are handed down from father to son, from mother to daughter, and though often filled with their superstitious beliefs, through them all run a vein of humor and the teachings of a moral truth which is quite unexpected.
These tales were gathered by Dr. A. L. Shelton on his trips among the Tibetans, around their camp-fires at night and in their black tents high up in the mountains.
Every Country has its folk- lore that have always been a joy and pleasure to the children, not only of their own land, but of other lands as well.
May these stories add a little to this pleasure and enjoyment everywhere, in whatsoever tongue they may be translated or in whatever land they may be read.
Back of the Book
Tibet a land mystery and mysticism has for centuries hidden itself from the outside world. For this reason Tibetan folktales have always attracted a vast audience. Many of these tales steeped in mystical imagery give the fertile imagination plenty of scope to work. Garnered from wandering herdsmen of the trans- Himalayan regions of Tibet as they sat around their campfires at night these tales delve deep into the traditional psyche of the Tibetan people.
Shelton has selected these stories very carefully so that they may reflect the true culture of the Tibetan people. The fifty stories contained in this book will fascinate and entertain you time and time again. Whether you are old or young you may relate to these tales and derive your own meanings for each one.
As with all eastern tales Tibetan folk tales also have deeper meanings that may not be immediately understood and thus one may ponder over each tale to look for a deeper and hidden meaning. As with the Jataka tales associated with the Buddha and his teachings tales from Tibet are also adaptations of the same style and often the communication between men and animals forms the basis for these stories.
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