19th century Tibetan mala - Buddhist rosary consisting of 108 Chinese staghorn prayer beads and 4 fruit pit ones carved with scholars in various attitudes among clouds and that serve as spacers dividing the prayer beads into groups of 27 each. Traditionally Buddhist rosary of 108 even-sized beads is used for mantra recitation. The thread represents the continuity of the buddhadharma piercing the 108 worldly passions. The mantras are recited to accomplish the four karmas or enlightened activities of pacifying, enriching, magnetizing, and destroying. On completion of a full cycle of 108 mantras recitations, the mala is turned around and the next mantra cycle is counted in reversed order along the beads. Staghorn/bone beads are stained blue/green (photos came out too blue, the actual color is greener), superb warm patina from handling, wonderful feel of age. Length when stretched is 18.5 inches, total length 37 inches, average bead diameter is 9.5 mm. Fits very nicely around the neck or the wrist.