The Journey

Man's Portable Amulet Shrine (Ga'u)

  • 59
  • Tibet
  • 18th–19th century
  • Silver, parcel-gilt copper, tin, and copper
  • 12 in. (30.5 cm)
  • Zimmerman Family Collection

The gilded decoration on this large ga'u includes a bowl of offerings of the five senses at the bottom center; eight khandro, female embodiments of enlightened energy, dancing on clouds; and a seated deity at the top. On the gilded window border, among rocks and trees, is a collection of imagery that may symbolize longevity: a bearded warrior, perhaps the God of Longevity, at the upper left, as well as a lion, elephant, deer, and bird (perhaps a crane). A winged khyung (garuda in Sanskrit) grasps two dragons by their serpent-like tails at the top of the window border.

PHOTO CREDIT: Gerald Lerner

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