Tsakli (Tibetan initiation cards)

We have two new pages of tsaklis:

To read more about tsaklis there is an article on tsaklis on the Asian Arts web site.

For more images the Himalayan Art Project in New York is presently putting a large research collection on-line including several collections of Initiation cards (or "tsagli" as they spell the word).

The Metropolitan Museum in also now showing a group of very early Tibetan tsaklis (tsakali is their spelling) among their new asquisitions.

Tsaklis are small cards of layered stiffened handmade paper or of sized cloth, painted on one side and often with a Tibetan syllable, word, line, or several lines of calligraphy on the reverse. They are assembled into sets and depict specific deities and symbols associated with rituals practiced in Tibetan Buddhism. The rituals may include empowerment ceremonies, transmission of teachings, and funerals and the cards usages may be as substitutes for ceremonial items or as visualization aids.

Himalayan Antiques has assembled a large collection of tsaklis including many difficult to find high quality cards comparable to the one below.

tsakli (or initiation card) of especially fine quality
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All photographs are the property of Paul Morse and may not be used without permission.

Last updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
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