- USA & Canada
Crowning Wisdom: Himalayan Buddhist Hats and Their Meanings
Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University
100 Nicolls Road,
Stony Brook, New York, USA
Nov 12, 2019
Detail: By Dr. Katherine Anne Paul
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 @ 1 PM
Charles B. Wang Center Lecture Hall I
As the highest part of our bodies and arguably most revered portion of human anatomy, the head is the seat of not only our brain but also of our faculties of sight, smell, sound, and taste. Throughout the Himalayas, headgear is worn to signify monastic and political allegiances, along with social and spiritual rank and accomplishments. Headgear can also be a tool to activate divine powers. Numerous materials and sculptural forms can be used; some are generated from practical considerations, others are formulated as aspects of conspicuous consumption. This lecture will introduce a dazzling array of crowns, diadems, hats, and caps that function in intriguing ways. These uses may be as transcendent as to temporarily harness the powers of the universe or as mundane as indicating the passing of scholastic exams or even an ingenious adaptation to protect the wearer from rain.
About the Speaker
Katherine Anne Paul is a curator of Asian Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art and the author of numerous publications showcase rich, multi-faceted aspect of classic and contemporary art from the diverse nations of Asia. A Tibetologist by training, Dr. Paul has held posts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, and the Newark Museum. A Fulbright scholar, she has performed field research in twenty-six nations during the past twenty years.