Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Walse Ngampa (Bon Deity)

དབལ་གསས་རྔམ་པ། བོན། ཡིད་དམ་དྲག་པོ། 瓦赛恩巴(苯教五大本尊之一)
(item no. 200012)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Bon
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Catalogue # acc.# F1996.29.6
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Walse Ngampa (Tibetan: dbal gsas rngam pa): the body aspect Tutelary Deity from the Five Supreme Ones of Father Tantra. At the top are Celestial figures and lamas. At the sides are retinue deities. Minor retinue figures, protectors and the Gods of the Four Directions cavort in various postures below.

Fierce, blue-black in colour, with nine faces and 18 hands, the three main wrathful faces are blue, white and red, each with three eyes and dark yellow hair flowing upward. The three faces above are those of a snow lion, tiger and leopard. Above that are a garuda (King of Birds), dragon and makara (sea creature). The two main hands are placed at the heart and hold a purba (peg) pointed downward and embracing the consort. With one face, two hands and dark green in colour, she is naked in appearance. The remaining sixteen hands of the central deity extend to the sides holding various weapons, animals and miscellaneous objects. Adorning the main faces are skull crowns, earrings and necklaces of bone and freshly severed heads. Bracelets and bone ornaments decorate the body along with a green scarf, human skin and a tiger skin wrapped about the waist. Leaning aggressively to the left with the leg bent and the right straight, above two naked and disheveled figures, an orange sun, white moon disc and a multi-coloured lotus seat, he is surrounded by the brightly burning orange and red flames of wisdom fire.

At the top center is Shenlha Okar, white and seated in meditation posture. Below that is a fierce retinue attendant with three faces and six hands, embracing the red consort surrounded by historical figures, accomplished ascetics and lamas. A further six retinue deities stand one above the other at the sides, each with three faces and six hands, likewise embracing a consort. Numerous two handed figures of various colour dance and play below, many with animal and daemon heads, both male and female. At the bottom center are two protector deities. On the right is a blue daemon with one face and two hands riding a black horse. At the left is a green daemon riding on the back of a black bird. At the corners stand the Four Direction Gods, Namtose, Yulkhorsung, Mizang and the like.

Jeff Watt & Lee Hartline 1-2000

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Bon: Artworks (All)
Bon: Wrathful Deities Main Page
Subject: Over-conservation & Restoration Page
Bon Deity: Walse Ngampa Main Page
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Bon Artworks