Friday, April 16, 2010

Tibetan Calligraphy Copyright© 2010 Tashi Mannox

Above we can see a wonderful calligraphy by the very talented Tashi Mannox. You can also view his blog here. This piece was used in my recent dZi bead article for Sacred Hoop Magazine. In this piece we can see the word dZi (shown in the Horyig seal script in red). This word is also cleverly incorporated into the design of the black and white dZi bead. The white text at the base of the piece translates as 'Blaze with Majestic Brilliance'.

We all know that Tibetans highly value dZi beads as amulets. They are seen as a safe guard against illness and misfortune and they are even believed to protect the wearer from harmful spirits. In Tibetan society, heirloom beads are often worn during festivals and special occasions. This is seen as an opportunity to showcase prized beads that may have been in a family for many generations. The Tibetan word for confidence is ziji, which is made up of zi meaning shine and ji meaning splendour, radiance or dignity. I personally feel that when we connect the word ziji to dZi beads, it reflects the underlying attitude and intent of the Tibetans who wear them. As the Tibetan Buddhist master, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche says: “A person with ziji has dignity, the radiant power of a mind that has relaxed into its own inherent strength”.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ancient Banded Agate and Chalcedony beads. The large focal bead measures 30 mm x 22 mm.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


A large Ancient Tasso dZi or an ancient dZi with a zig zag stripe.. This bead displays a rarely seen decorated 'white' stripe on an opaque darkened agate base. The greyish colour of the lines probably indicates fire damage. Sourced in Nepal. approx 29 mm x 12 mm

Ancient Chung dZi. Sourced in Nepal. 31 mm x 11 mm

Monday, April 12, 2010

A very beautiful antique turquoise bead. Sourced in Nepal. 40 mm x 34 mm

A rare ancient green jasper bead from Nepal. 30 mm x 26 mm        

Above: Pagor Headress

Old turquoise and silver pendant beads or hair ornaments. This type of pendant is probably meant to represent the Indian chank shell or conch. The conch is one of the eight auspicious symbols in Buddhism. It is worn in Southern Tibet in a headress called a Pagor.  Largest pendant measures 68 mm x 40 mm.

Friday, April 09, 2010

These are banded agate beads that closely resemble the ancient Bhaisajyaguru dZi or Suleimani Beads but are a fraction of the price. They are often mistaken for ancient beads because the quality is so good. Despite being newer creations they are not so common. In the past 10 years I have only seen a handful of strands in this quality. They possibly originate from China but were sourced in Nepal.