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 ascent of the soul to be reincarnated in the circle of life.
This Tibetan Kapala has a beautifully carved calvarium, and has been expertly decorated with gorgeous silver embellishments. It is a fascinating example of master craftsmanship, and is truly an impressive specimen. It is superb, and fully intact, aside from a few mini skulls that appear to be missing from the back. It is quite rare to find these in such incredible condition. This would make a stunning centerpiece for any collection.
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