Spearhead (Mdung Rtse)

Date: 17th–18th century

Culture: Tibetan

Medium: Iron, gold, silver

Dimensions: L. 18 1/4 in. (46.4 cm)

Classification: Shafted Weapons

Credit Line: Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2001

Accession Number: 2001.180


This spearhead was probably made for use by an oracle, or in another ceremony or ritual involving the propitiation of a deity, as indicated by its form and decoration, and particularly by the prominently placed word kyai, written in a Tibetan script. This symbol, known as a seed syllable, was sometimes used to invoke a deity in ritual contexts.