Tsiu Marpo is a guardian of the Buddhist religion. Texts relate that he resides in the west in a red copper castle surrounded by red mountains, red valleys, and red rivers—a landscape evoked by the formations at the base of the sculpture. Dressed as a warrior, he brandishes a lance in his raised hand and holds a heart, which he tore from an enemy of the Buddhist religion, and a snare, which he uses as a weapon. His retinue is said to include nine naked men as messengers, one of which can be seen here, as well as a "life-destroying" copper wolf, who creeps along stealthily. Birds of prey, such as the one at the top of this sculpture, are also frequently in the retinue of guardian deities.


  • Title: Tsiu Marpo
  • Date Created: 19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: H 17.75 x W 14.125 x D 2.75
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2006.18.1
  • Medium: Mineral pigments on wood
  • Place of Creation: Mongolia
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Gateway to Himalayan Art" (07/23/10 - TBD), Rubin Museum of Art, "Beyond Chinggis Kahn: Mongolia Past and Present" (11/03/06 - 04/16/07)

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