Tibet, lamas with long hair

16th century, Tibet, lama, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th century, Tibet, lama, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

In Tibetan sculpture, lamas are sometimes depicted with thick hair combed backwards.

same as before.

16th century, Tibet, lama, copper alloy and turquoise, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

16th c., Tibet, lama, c.a. inlaid with turq., close up

This lama is adorned with jewellery, he had a stone-inlaid urna and wears a gown with a richly incised hem. These features, along with the shape of the double-lotus base, help date the piece. We will note the very ornate way in which the tail end of his garment is arranged over the base.

16th-17th century, Tibet, lama, brass, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

16th-17th century, Tibet, lama, brass, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

17th century, Tibet, lama, stone, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th century, Tibet, lama, stone, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Nyingma lama with tripartite topknot and tresses, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Nyingma lama with tripartite topknot and tresses, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

16th-17th c., Tibet, lama Nyingmapa, c.a., tripartite topknot, back

This lama,  with part of his hair tied up, recalls sculptures of Jigme Lingpa, although the latter is usually shown much thinner (see below).

18th century, Tibet, Jigme Lingpa, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

18th century, Tibet, Jigme Lingpa, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This type of hairstyle is a status symbol in many cultures across the world. However, in Tibetan buddhism it has an esoteric/religious meaning and is not meant to indicate any form of superiority, obviously.

 

 

 

 

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