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 Tibetan Kapala has a beautifully carved calvarium, and has been expertly decorated with gorgeous Tibetan silver embellishments. It is a fascinating example of master craftsmanship, and is truly an impressive specimen. It is quite rare to find these in such impeccable condition. This would make a stunning centerpiece for any collection.
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