The Tibetan skull cup, known as a "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 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 been expertly decorated with a bi-metal design that has been inlaid into the bone. It is in superb condition, and would be a stunning addition to any collection. The center of this piece features a swastika, which is an ancient symbol used in many religions. In Buddhism, it is meant to symbolize the footprints of Buddha, and promotes "well-being." In more recent history, this religiously significant symbol was stolen by the Nazis, and has been used as a symbol of hate. The swastika typically faces the opposite direction when used by the Nazis. This spiritual item has no association with that message.
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