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Prayer Wheel (Mani Wheel)

Accession Number
1983/1.424

Title
Prayer Wheel (Mani Wheel)

Artist(s)
Tibetan

Artist Nationality
Tibetan (culture or style)

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

Medium & Support
metal, wood, bone, and turquoise

Dimensions
8 11/16 in x 1 3/4 in x 1 3/4 in (22.1 cm x 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm);8 11/16 in x 1 3/4 in x 1 3/4 in (22.1 cm x 4.5 cm x 4.5 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
An example of a 'mani' or prayer wheel, a common ritual object used in Tibetan Buddhism: a device made a handle (here a wooden stick, with simple incised line designs) supporting a hollow cylindrical drum on a spindle. Here the drum is elaboratedly decorated with rows of inset turquoise stones, as well as a row of Sanskit letters in bone. A small weight of bone attached to one one side of the drum with a metal chain, allows the wheel to spin with a slight rotation of the wrist.

Primary Object Classification
Ritual Object

Primary Object Type
prayer wheel

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Buddhism
Himalayan
Vajrayana
prayers (documents)
rituals (events)

& Author Notes

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