Tibet, the meditation cloak

 

13th century, Tibet, lama, gilt metal, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

13th century, Tibet, lama, copper or copper alloy with gilding, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Sculptures of lamas sometimes include a ‘meditation cloak’, which they wear for extra protection when sitting for long hours in meditation.

14th-15th century, Tibet, lama, brass with copper inlay, published by Ian Alsop.

14th-15th century, Tibet, lama, brass with copper and silver inlay (or overlay?), published by Ian Alsop.

It is usually placed loosely over both shoulders.

15th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

15th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

It may be very ornate like the rest of the garments (usually on pieces dating from the 15th century onwards, rarely before).

16th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

16th century, Tibet, lama, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

Or the hem alone may be decorated.

16th-17th century, Tibet, lama, parcel-gilt silver, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th-17th century, Tibet, lama, parcel-gilt silver, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

On this rare item the cloak is worn over the head to offer complete protection. Only the feet and hands are uncovered.

17th century, Tibet, lama on throne with a vajra motif, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th century, Tibet, lama on throne with a vajra motif, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th c., Tibet, lama on throne, brass, vajra motif, back

It can be slightly gathered at the neck and elaborately pleated at the back.

17th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy and cold gold, private collection, published on Himalaya Art Resources.

17th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy and cold gold, private collection, published on Himalaya Art Resources.

On the above two examples, the cloak is gathered at the front and folded over the legs, leaving only one foot uncovered. (This last lama also appears to have part of his chest unprotected by his vest).

17th century, Tibet, lama with flaming jewel, gilt metal,  private collection.

17th century, Tibet, lama with flaming jewel, gilt metal, private collection.

On late Chinese-style works both feet are normally covered by the cloak.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s