The word 'Kapala' is a Sanskrit term meaning "skull, bowl, or vessel," and is a highly decorated human skull. They are typically carved and/or embellished with 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 skull has been expertly decorated with a bi-metal design that has been inlaid into the bone. It is a fascinating example of master craftsmanship, and is quite impressive. The skull is incredibly smooth, as a result of the polishing process when the inlaid design was created. There are several carved symbols on the mandible. In addition, this skull has a wonderful wormian bone, also known as an intrasutural bone. Another unique characteristic of this skull is that it has a persistent metopic suture; a feature that is typically only found in infants and children, but will occasionally persist into adulthood in rare cases. The coloration throughout this skull is incredible. This extraordinary specimen is quite rare, and would be a stunning centerpiece to any collection.
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