Yak Horn

Horn with bone-plate; length 50 centimeters; on loan from the Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich
Yak horns are often placed above the doorways of the house in order to prevent the entrance of malevolent powers. They are also placed on Steinsetztungen/stone markers in the landscape, which is indicative of the ancient pre-Buddhist practices of making offerings to the nature deities. Often sacred Buddhist formulas are inscribed on yak horns, whose ritual use and symbolic worth dates back to pre-Buddhist times, as in this case with the inscription »O mani padme hum«.