Prayer Wheel (Mani Wheel)

Accession Number

Prayer Wheel (Mani Wheel)


Artist Nationality
Tibetan (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
mid 19th century - early 20th century

Medium & Support
metal and wood

10 1/4 x 3 5/16 x 3 5/16 in. (26 x 8.4 x 8.4 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of the Estate of Maxine W. Kunstadter in memory of Sigmund Kunstadter, Class of 1922

Subject matter
A mani, or prayer wheel, a common ritual object used in Tibetan Buddhism. A hand-written or printed prayer is placed inside the hollow core of the wheel drum; when a believer spins the drum from left to right (the direction the prayers are written), he or she attains the same religoius merit as when reciting the prayers aloud.

Physical Description
A 'mani' or prayer wheel, a common ritual object used in Tibetan Buddhism: a device made a handle (here a simple wooden stick) supporting a hollow cylindrical drum on a spindle. A small metal weight, attached to one one side of the drum with a cord, allows the wheel to spin with a slight rotation of the wrist. The drum in his case is of hammered metal, with incised patterns of Buddhist auspicious symbols.

Primary Object Classification
Ritual Object

Primary Object Type
prayer wheel

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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prayers (documents)
rituals (events)

3 Related Resources

(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Su19 Dine: HISTART 393 - Visit 1
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted