Sunday, January 30, 2005

Damaged dZi

A widely held Tibetan belief is that a damaged dZi bead has absorbed or averted a major catastrophe or protected the owner from great negativity or misfortune. Although this dZi has been damaged it has continued to be worn and cherished by the owner. The damaged zone has been worn smooth from centuries of being worn on the body and has developed a smooth waxy patina from rubbing on the body and absorbing oils from the skin. It is a clear example of a bead that has not been discarded because of a breakage. The fact that the eyes remain completely damage free is what matters to the owner of this bead. Usually if a damaged dZi is worn then it is normally beads that have eyes intact or beads with unusual motifs that are preferred. Also, if the damaged bead has a strong colour then it is still believed to have amuletic power.

A damaged bead is often set into a ring or pendant if it is a suitable size. If broken, the two halves are often joined back together with a gold band or the ends are capped with gold to disguise the damage. Undamaged beads are rarely capped or framed with precious metal because they are considered more valuable and more potent if kept whole. Damaged dZi are also fashioned into a tool that can be used to apply gold to traditional Thangka paintings. Broken dZi fragments are also ground down and used in Tibetan Medicine.

No comments: