Ritual mirror
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 1
Display 1

ABR 042

 Code: ABR 042

  Country: Tibet


  Date: 1400 - 1500

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 15 x 16.4

  Materials: Gilt copper

Ritual mirror (Melong)

In Tibetan culture, mirrors are associated with the clear, bright and pure nature of the mind, which is able to reflect anything without being affected by it. On a ritual level, mirrors can be part of a series of offerings of the five senses, in which they represent the sense of sight. Most commonly, however, they are used for divinatory practices. On the polished convex surface, the practitioner will contemplate the appearances that subsequently require an interpretation. Some deities have the mirror as an attribute by which they are able to observe all the actions of the three tenses (past, present and future). Tibetan oracles also wear a mirror on their chest which is marked with the seed syllable of the deity concerned. 

The surface of the mirror bears no ornamentation excepting a series of small, engraved circles in the cardinal and intercardinal directions on the rim of the mirror. The triple wish-fulfilling jewel holds the attaching eyelet and a kirtimukha is depicted on the attachment on the inner concave side of the mirror, which is divided into four concentric sections decorated with engraved symbols and plant motifs (auspicious circle, lotus and plant scrolls).