ARTEFACTS

"Kandze" of an Equestrian warrior deity

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  • bskang rdas
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  • Thangka
  • 19th century
  • Pigment on cotton
  • Height: 53 cm / Width: 36 cm / Depth: not filled
  • Collection: Hans Leder, Inv. Nr.: 3557
  • Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig
  • © Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig/ ÖAW
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The printed thangka of bskang rdas (Tib.) “articles of sacrificial offerings” type represents the set of attributes and offerings to warrior deities. The background is filled in with Tibetan text. In the centre of the composition there is whole suit of armour with breastplate and loincloth. Above the armour there is a helmet, and on both sides ornate boots. The weapons of the warrior surround the armour. Though not every detail can be seen clearly, the bow case on the (spectator’s) left and quiver full with arrows on the right side can be clearly identified. Further requisites of the warriors are also recognisable, such as shields under the armour and a sword at its right and a sabre (?) at its left shoulder of the armour. Large star- and cakra-formed weapons are placed at the knees. The armour is in front of a shrine gate with a pagoda roof. Demon catching lassoes are tied to the pillars of the gate. Beside the pillars two flags attached to a lance are posted. Several mythical and real creatures are placed in the picture; from top to bottom: on the roof of the shrine there is a Garuḍa with two dragons (on the left and right). Two birds (of prey?) float beside the helmet. At the level of the shoulders a winged tiger (on the left) and a winged snow lion (on the right) turn toward the armour. At the level of the knees there is a black bird (of prey ?) on the left and a demon on the right sides. At the level of the boots a pair of deer are on the right side; the left side cannot be recognised. The bottom third is hard to discern; a dog and an elephant are recognisable on the right side and three peaceful deities in the bottom centre. Above them there are two offering dishes, the left one full with the symbols of the five senses, the right one filled up with fruits. (Birtalan Ágnes)
© Ágnes Birtalan
"Kandze" of an Equestrian warrior deity
/ Mongolia / 19th century / Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig / © Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig/ ÖAW

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