Another new question

jkirk jkirk at MICRON.NET
Fri Sep 7 14:26:43 UTC 2001

A listmember wrote:
 does anybody
> know any books or articles bearing on early Indian hand-mirrors

Such queries prompt me to once again ask a question which I sent to the
"other' indology list from which I received no replies. Perhaps someone on
this list might be able to set me straight.

When I recently visited the Art Inst of Chicago--having been there before on
several occasions--I suddenly noticed something I'd simply overlooked

Just inside the exhibit after you enter, when you go right into the Asian
art sculpture section, there is a Gandharan Bodhisattva torso.
What stuns me are the obvious tabiz-like multiple amulet necklaces he is
wearing draped over his chest and upper arms. The amulets are shaped quite
like so many tabiz one sees on south Asian Muslims, usually around the neck
or tied closely on an upper arm. The shape is a rectangular-ish tube
attached by 2 loops to the chain on this murti.
Indian Shakyamuni Buddha  images of course do not wear jewelry (at least far
as I've noticed--there could always be exceptions.) Bodhisattvas do. But
these I speak of are not just jewelry--they are amulet necklaces.

I've looked at a few other Gandharan period images--of Hariti for ex.--she
does not wear amulets but necklaces. There is one headless Buddha image
which is wearing three identical necklaces but the jewlery shows no amulets
(why would he wear amulets since he is the founder?).

One does not see such tabiz shaped amulets on east Asian Bodhisattvas--I
can't recall seeing any on southeast Asian Bodhisattvas, either--they seem
to wear non-amulet type jewelries.

Also, I don't know of any evidence that the Greeks of this period wore
amulets, even though their esthetics/conventions influenced Gandharan
design.  Did the Hindus of this period wear amulets?

Amulets were apparenrly worn in ancient Harappa (see Kenoyer) but their
shape is different from the tabiz shape I refer to here.

Does anyone know when this particular type of necklace with tabiz ornament (
as seen on the Gandhara image cited above) got started in the Gandharan

Joanna Kirkpatrick
Bennington College, retd.

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