Inventory no.: 1034

Tibetan Buddhist Amulet Box


Copper & Silver Kalachakra Amulet Box (Ga’u)

Eastern Tibet

19th century

height: 9.2cm, thickness: 3.2cm,

length: 8.1cm, weight: 121g

This copper ga’u or Tibetan amulet box was worn, suspended from the neck to provide protection for the wearer. It would have contained some auspicious texts and probably some blessed talismanic objects. Typically such boxes were worn when the owner was travelling. For long or difficult journeys as many as a dozen might have been worn to face all directions to protect themselves from evil no matter what direction it might come.

This example comprises two halves which fit together. Each of the halves has two eyelets on either side allowing the two halves to be kept together and for the whole to be suspended. The front of the box is cast and engraved with a border of lotus petal and stylised flower bud motifs surrounding a central, raised

kalachakra motif which has been highlighted with silver overlay. (The kalachakra ideogram is composed of ten powerful mantra syllables.) The back is plain.

Inventory no.: 1034


The interior.

A Tibetan noblewoman wearing a ga’u.