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Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet

Overview

"This volume is the first in-depth examination of the fascinating and virtually unknown subject of armor and weapons from Tibet. Not only the birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the world's great religions, Tibet over the centuries was also the scene of dramatic artistic, cultural, and political developments involving Tibetan, Mongol, Chinese, Nepalese, and other Himalayan states." "Many of these cultures left behind evocative evidence of their presence and influence in the form of helmets, armor for men and horses, saddles, swords, archery
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Overview

"This volume is the first in-depth examination of the fascinating and virtually unknown subject of armor and weapons from Tibet. Not only the birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the world's great religions, Tibet over the centuries was also the scene of dramatic artistic, cultural, and political developments involving Tibetan, Mongol, Chinese, Nepalese, and other Himalayan states." "Many of these cultures left behind evocative evidence of their presence and influence in the form of helmets, armor for men and horses, saddles, swords, archery equipment, and other arms, all of which are highly distinctive, with some even being unique examples of previously unknown types. Dating from the 13th to the 20th century, these objects include remarkable examples of pierced ironwork embellished with gold and silver, masterfully crafted swords and sword blades, and extremely rare examples of decorated leatherwork." "Warriors of the Himalayas explores each type in turn by presenting the finest and most unusual examples drawn from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art with key loans from museums in the United States and the United Kingdom, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, the Royal Museum in Edinburgh, and the British Museum." This fully illustrated catalogue features essays by leading scholars in the areas of Tibetan metalwork and iconography and includes the first glossary of Tibetan arms and armor terms, a selection of excerpts from some of the few surviving Tibetan texts relating to this subject, a bibliography, and an index.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300111538
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Series: Metropolitan Museum of Art Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald J. LaRocca is Curator, Department of Arms and Armor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. John Clarke is Curator, Department of Asian Art, Victoria and Albert Museum. Amy Heller is a Tibetologist and art historian affiliated with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris).
Lozang Jamspal is an Adjunct Professor, Department of Religion, Columbia University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Acknowledgments viii
Lenders to the Exhibition x
A Note to the Reader about the Use of Tibetan Terms xi
Map xii
Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet 3
A History of Ironworking in Tibet: Centers of Production, Styles, and Techniques 21
Armor and Weapons in the Iconography of Tibetan Buddhist Deities 35
The Gonkhang, Temple of the Guardian Deities 43
Catalogue
Lamellar Armor and Helmets 51
Helmets 68
Shields 92
Horse Armor 96
Leather Armor 116
Mail and Other Forms of Armor 126
Swords 146
Spears, Spearheads, and Miscellaneous Weapons 174
Archery Equipment 187
Firearms and Accessories 198
Saddles and Tack, Stirrups, and Bridles 214
Appendixes
Excerpts from A Treatise on Worldly Traditions 253
Types and Subtypes of Swords, Helmets, and Armor Named in A Treatise on Worldly Traditions 264
Tibetan-English Glossary of Arms and Armor Terms 267
Radiocarbon Dating Results 288
Bibliography 289
Index 299
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