Metal and Stone Vestiges
Religion, Magic and Protection in the Art of Ancient Tibet
The cave wall shown here is replete with red ochre Bon motifs painted prior to 1300. The panel likewise includes three ‘endless knots’ and two conches (the fish in image 7a, and dancers in image 10a are also visible). The various auspicious symbols and other representations surround the famous Bon mantra, ‘Om matri muye sale du’. In addition to those already noted, there is a parasol (uduk), five-pointed star, ‘flaming jewels’ motif (norbu member) vase (bumpa), as well as human and animal figures on the panel. These auspicious symbols are not depicted in the standard Buddhist manner, a set of eight symbols known as tashi dargye. This indicates that they comprise either a prototypical or heterodox rendition.
all text & images © John Vincent Bellezza