The word "Kapala" is a Sanskrit term meaning 'skull, bowl, or vessel,' and is a highly decorated human skull. It serves as a ritual libation vessel in both Hindu and Buddhist Tantra for a vast number of Vajrayana deities. They are typically carved and/or embellished with elaborately mounted jewels, stones, and precious metals. Kapalas are made from human skulls that have been collected at "sky burial" sites; an ancient Tibetan custom in which the bodies of dead monks are dismembered and scattered over open ground to give "alms to the birds." This ritual carries great religious significance, reinforcing the principle of Samsara, the cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence, and dying again.
This incredibly rare Tibetan Kapala has an extraordinary calvarium, which has been meticulously carved, and is surrounded with alternating pieces of coral and turquoise. This Kapala has been expertly decorated with gorgeous Tibetan silver embellishments. The removable base makes this remarkable piece stand out, and is quite unique and highly detailed. This fascinating piece is an example of master craftsmanship, and is surely an impressive specimen in marvelous condition. This museum-quality Kapala is truly one-of-a-kind, and would be a sensational centerpiece to any collection.
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