Himalayan Art Resources

Item: King - Gesar

རྒྱལ་པོ། 国王
(item no. 79418)
Origin Location Eastern Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Ground: Paper
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Person

Appearance: Warrior

Gender: Male

Interpretation / Description

Gesar, Ling Gesar, from the famous Tibetan epic.

The general depiction of Gesar is of a Tibetan warrior, atop a horse, clad in armor and a helmet with elaborate flag pennants and streamers, accompanied by eight horseman upto thirty horsemen. Gesar is also commonly depicted with thirteen animals surrounding him. These are the 'Werma Chu Sum' - thirteen special attendant animal figures. This description is almost identical to that of Drala 'Enemy God'. It is very easy to confuse the two subjects of Gesar and Drala. There are several systems of naming the thirteen 'werma' animals. The list below does not include the dragon which appears in others and also appears in some of the paintings on the HAR website.

The Thirteen Werma (werma chusum):
1. White Lion. seng ge dkar po (sengge karpo)
2. Light Blue Jackal. spyang ki sngo skya (chang ki ngo kya)
3. White Rabbit. ri bong dkar po (ri bong karpo)
4. Yellow Deer. gla ba ja ser (la wa ja ser)
5. Brownish-coloured Poisonous Snake. dug sbrul bya mdog (dug drul ja dog)
6. Bird. glag ja nag (lag ja nag)
7. White Bird. khra skya bo (tra kya bo)
8. White Vulture. bya rgod ngang dkar (ja god ngang kar)
9. Smoke-coloured Owl. 'ug pa du mdog (wuk pa du dog)
10. Tiger. stag 'dzum drug (tag 'dzum drug)
11. Black Wild Bear. dred mong nag po (dre mong nag po)
12. Wild Donkey. rkyang kha dkar (kyang kha kar)
13. Golden Fish. gser nya gser po (ser nya ser po)

Jeff Watt 7-2011

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
King: Gesar Norbu Dradul
King: Gesar Main Page
Blockprints: Dege Parkhang (Extra)
Deity, Tibetan: Warrior Appearance (Drala)