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The Tibetan skull cup, known as "Kapala" in Sanskrit, is fashioned from the oval calvarium of a human skull. It serves as a libation vessel for a vast number of Vajrayana deities. Kapalas are made from skulls that have been collected at a 'sky burial' site; 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 antique Kapala has a beautifully aged patina, and is a fascinating example of master craftsmanship. It features two large Tibetan silver plates on the ends, and a metal lining on the interior of the vessel. The outside rim features several pieces of turquoise and coral.


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Tibetan Kapala, Decorated Skull Cup

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