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Chorten and Lhato, Tangbe

Chorten and Lhato, Tangbe
81 x 127 cm
(click here for larger image - 147KB)

These chorten and lhato stand with clusters of other structures and ruins high above the Kali Gandaki. The main chorten on the left has the roof which is typical and special to Mustang, possibly added as the result of changing weather conditions over the centuries.

Its playful decoration is the result of annual layers of clay colours which have gradually obscured the more precise original stucco decoration.

The eastern side is shown here, the "lion throne" base with elephant roundels. To the north are horses, the south has birdhuman figures (Kinnara), and the west has peacocks. The elephant and peacock are certainly not found in Mustang but show the endurance of the iconography of chortens, established in India more than a millennium before.

The adjoining object has the form of a chorten but the two structures on the right have the shape of lhato (god place), structures which mark the presence of spirits of place. (37)

Copyright 1998 Robert Powell

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