Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
Fourteen little pieces strung together in a necklace.
Not an ordinary necklace but one that was used in rituals by tantric priests.
Each is a Phurba made of Yak bone – a preferred art medium in the Buddhist Himalayan belt.
The 3 sided dagger is a symbolic weapon that cuts through hatred and stabs demonic obscurations.
So what did these pieces witness? What ceremonies were they part of?
Tales of human triumph after soul-strengthening rituals? Did they watch as common men gained confidence and overcame hurdles? What were the stories – what battles did those lives fight?
Today, to a collector, sitting far away in history and geography, these are beautiful pieces of art. But they once had the power to carry out soothing tasks for the believers.
If only we could see within!
An example from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford: