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Tibetan Antique Gau Ghao Prayer Pouch

Tibetan Antique Gau Ghao Prayer Pouch

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Indian Subcontinent: Himalayas: Pre 1900: Item # 1454058
Zentner Collection
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5757 Horton Street
Emeryville, CA 94608

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Unusual antique Tibetan gau ghao (gao). Used as a portable shrine that hangs around the neck, a gao is usually a box filled with prayers written on cloth around a central deity visible through a window. This gao is flat but it is similar to the traditional gao in that it has a central deity and a window cut out of leather. The outside of the pouch, like that of the traditional box shrine, is decorated with Buddhist symbols (lotus flower, conch shell, umbrella, eternal knot, etc.) made of bronze and attached to the leather. The bronze figure in the center has his hands in Dharmachakra Mudra, a teaching mudra also called Turning the Wheel of the Law. This gao was worn by a monk as a source of reverence and protection on his travels.

Age: late 19th century

Dimensions: 7" high x 5" wide