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Why paint on Yak Bone? A Himalayan Buddhist Thangka

Devotional Art comes in many forms in the Buddhist Himalayas.

Thangkas are the most commonly known artworks and can be found on paper, cloth and walls in large display-worthy sizes.

But in addition there are others that are smaller that are meant for personal use. Some such as Burhany Zurags are worn encased as protective or prescriptive blessings.

Then there are other personal artworks such as this one made on Yak Bone.

Antique Buddhist Painting

For a long time I wondered about the choice of material for such a devotional painting.

Then during some other study I read about the circumambulations of worship.

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These photos were taken in Ladakh:

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Although I haven’t seen it, I read that people hold an image of Buddha in their hands during this practice. And as these journeys are hard and last several days at the very least, the painted image suffers a great amount of wear and tear.

So, a base material that survives the hardship as well as the devotees do, is the material of choice. Perhaps that is why many of the portable shrines are made of Yak bone…

See more of the yak bone artwork HERE

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In the world of folk art, we can journey on forever. Even if we were to choose a single region of Asia and focus on a few communities there and browse through all the various types of folk arts they have produced we could spend days just meandering through them all!

What a great field to be absorbed in… it is a never ending journey of discovery & stimulation!

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jm

WOVENSOULS.com

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This entry was posted on May 17, 2020 by in Art Kaleidoscope and tagged , , , , , .

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