TOKCHAG AMULETS OF TIBET David Templeman – TAASA Review September 2021


This article was originally found in the September 2021 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 30, Issue 3, Page 12).

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I n almost every photo of a Tibetan, be they nomad, farmer or trader, one may see a variety of small metal objects hanging around their necks or attached to items of daily use such as rosaries, flint-strikers, knives or belts.

These objects, known by Tibetans as tokchag, are of a great many forms and are highly prized as amulets: they may reflect an understanding of the cosmos, act as life-protectors or offer the spiritual protection of a deity.

In older photographs, in particular those of the nobles, the tokchag are not so easily noted, but they were almost always present underneath the elegant neck-to-ankle silk robes of both men and women...