Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan

Made in Donkar monastery, Chumbi Valley (Lingmatang), Tibet, Asia

Late 19th or early 20th century

Opaque watercolor and gold on cardboard with cloth

Painted panels: 7 3/8 × 20 1/2 inches (18.7 × 52.1 cm) Length (Total length of fabric ties): 11 1/4 inches (28.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Hannah Neil Wheeler in memory of Charles Wheeler, 1933

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This type of diadem, called rigs-nga in Tibetan, is worn during special initiation rituals when the monk-officiate is temporarily incarnated as a divine figure. The individuals painted on it are the spiritual fathers of the vast Mahayana Buddhist pantheon who rule over the five directions (north, south, east, west, and center). Thus wearing this diadem calls upon the powers of the entire pantheon.