Bon or Bön (Tibetan: བོན་,Wylie: bon,Lhasa dialectIPA: [pʰø̃̀]) is a Tibetan religious tradition or sect, being distinct from Buddhist ones in its particular myths, although many of its teachings, terminology and rituals resemble Tibetan Buddhism. It arose in the eleventh century and established its scriptures mainly from termas and visions by tertöns such as Loden Nyingpo. Though Bon terma contain myths of Bon existing before the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, "in truth the 'old religion' was a new religion."
Definitions of Bon
As Bon only arose in the eleventh century through the work of tertons, Sam van Schaik states it is improper to refer to the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet as Bon:
Three Bon scriptures--mdo 'dus, gzer mig, and gzi brjid--relate the mythos of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche. The Bonpos regard the first two as gter ma rediscovered around the eleventh century and the last as nyan brgyud (oral transmission) dictated by Loden Nyingpo, who lived in the fourteenth century. In the fourteenth century, Loden Nyingpo revealed a terma known as The Brilliance (Wylie: gzi brjid), which contained the story of Tonpa Shenrab. He was not the first Bonpo tertön, but his terma became one of the definitive scriptures of Bon religion. It states that Shenrab established the Bon religion while searching for a horse stolen by a demon. Tradition also tells that he was born in the land of Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring (considered an axis mundi) which is traditionally identified as Mount Yung-drung Gu-tzeg (“Edifice of Nine Sauwastikas”), possibly Mount Kailash, in western Tibet. Due to the sacredness of Tagzig Olmo Lungting and Mount Kailash, the Bonpo regard both the swastika and the number nine as auspicious and as of great significance.
Aweer (Aweera), also known as Boni (Bon, Bonta), is a Cushitic language spoken in Kenya. Historically known in the literature by the derogatory term Boni, the Aweer people are foragers traditionally subsisting on hunting, gathering, and collecting honey. Their ancestral lands range along the Kenyan coast from the Lamu and Ijara Districts into Southern Somalia's Badaade District.
According to Ethnologue, there are around 8,000 speakers of Aweer or Boni. Aweer has similarities with the Garre. However, its speakers are physically and culturally distinct from the Aweer people.
Evidence suggests that the Aweer/Boni are remnants of the early hunter-gatherer inhabitants of Eastern Africa. According to linguistic, anthropological and other data, these groups later came under the influence and adopted the Afro-Asiatic languages of the Eastern and Southern Cushitic peoples who moved into the area.
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