Hero (Tsam figure)

  • / Baatar
  • Tsam figure
  • begin 20th century
  • Wood
  • Height: not filled / Width: not filled / Depth: not filled
  • Collection: Hans Leder, Inv. Nr.: 74718
  • Weltmuseum Wien
  • © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM
Several small wooden figures depicting expressively characters of the Tsam dance ceremony (T. ´cham), one of the most important Buddhist festivities, form an extraordinary group within the Leder collections. Twelve figures are housed in the Weltmuseum Wien (the former Museum für Völkerkunde Wien).This figure represents one of the two Heroes who stood as guards at the edge of the innermost circle of the dance field and did not take part at the dance (Rintschen 1967: 75). Their duty is to watch over the offering, Sor, and to prevent the Raven from touching it. The two Heroes wear armour, as shields, arms, helmets and Mongolian-style boots; the mask of this figure is red. This Hero has a grim face while the mask representing the second Hero has a friendly expression. The denomination Ulan Battr (M., red hero, like the capital Ulaanbaatar) has so far only been found in Leder; other forms are Büüwei baatar or Beil baatar and Shijir baatar (cf. Lang 2013: 66-67, Majer 2008: 109, Yadamsuren 2005: 32, Forman and Rintschen 1967: 75).
© M.-K. Lang
Hero (Tsam figure)
/ Mongolia / begin 20th century / Weltmuseum Wien / © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM