Thogcha Talismans

A Private Collection of Thogcha Talismans,
Including Buddhist and Geometric Shapes and Forms

Tibetan Plateau
1000 BC – 1800 AD
Mixed metals, bronze, iron, copper, leather

Thogcha are known as ‘fall from sky’ objects, associated with meteors, comets, thunder and lightning. They are ‘found objects’ that were at some point in history lost, dropped into the soil of the Tibetan Plateau, only to be discovered hundreds, even thousands of years later by herdsmen, pilgrims, or monks walking upon the land. This private collection features objects that were originally intended as talismans, including a pre-Buddhist Shang dynasty tao tei masquette, Scythian – Ordos style steppes tiger, a Sasanian- type bird in roundel, auspicious eagle Kyung, revered in the ancient Bon religion. There are also first and second diffusion Buddhist votive objects, including a Vajrapani, dorjis, phurbas, and others. Finally, there are many objects perhaps originally mundane, i.e. horse trappings, rings, arrowheads, buttons, buckles, etc. that became enchanted by their unearthing. Collectively they possess properties of magical protection, with a gathering of an odd number thogcha favored for good luck. Thogcha (pronounced toke-cha) offer tangible evidence of the intangible, from the animistic beliefs of the Tibetan nomads to insights about the archeology of the Tibetan Plateau, otherwise never researched due to a religious taboo not to disturb the earth.