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The crown of a teacher-monk (lama) depicting the Five Dhyani Buddhas

17th – 18th Century

MAS

MAS

For important rituals a Tibetan priest or lama wears a five-leaved tiara. On the five leaves are the Five Dhyani Buddhas or transcendental Buddhas. They emanate from a primordial Buddha and are represented as meditating princes. Each has a name, colour, direction, natural element and symbol. From left to right: Ratnasambhava (yellow, south, earth), Akshobhya (blue, east, water), Vairocana (white, centre, ether), Amitabha (red, west, fire) and Amoghasiddhi (green, north, air).

Exceptionally,the tiara shown here is not painted but woven in silk. The weaving technique is extraordinarily complicated.

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  • Title: The crown of a teacher-monk (lama) depicting the Five Dhyani Buddhas
  • Date Created: 17th – 18th Century
  • Location: Tibet
  • Physical Dimensions: height: 35cm – width: 61.4cm
  • Subject Keywords: Ethnographic collection
  • Type: Headdress
  • Medium: Cardboard, silk, cord, satin, metal
  • ID: AE.1977.0004.0001
  • Department: Ethnographic collection – Asia
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Friends of the Ethnographic Museum [Antwerp] (1977)

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