Saturday, September 04, 2010

 

A Tibetan woman (1930s) wears a necklace comprised of ancient dZi, banded agates (also known as Bhaisajyaguru dZi), coral and a large amulet or gau box. Gaus with the 'two intersecting squares' design were apparently very fashionable in Lhasa from "at least the middle of the 19th century". According to John Clarke (Victoria and Albert Museum Curator) this symbolises two crossed dorjes or a double vajra. They can often be made from silver or gold and can be inlaid with a variety of semi-precious stones, more commonly with coral and turquoise. These days similar gaus may even contain precious stones like rubies and diamonds and display a chosen deity on the front. The gau might contain a wealth of sacred items that have been blessed by revered Lamas. They might also contain relics, mantras, a small statue or Tsa Tsa and are regarded as one of the most important family heirloom pieces.

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