Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Miscellaneous - Offerings

པར་ཤིང་སྣང་བརྙན། སྣ་ཚོགས། 版画 (多种)
(item no. 92016)
Origin Location Zangskar, Northern India
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Collection U. of Michigan Museum of Anthropology
Catalogue # #17466, Koelz Collection
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Object/Concept

Interpretation / Description

Torma (Tibetan: tor ma. Sanskrit: ba lim ta): torma are cone shaped ritual food offerings sculpted in a variety of shapes and sizes, coloured and then adorned with flat circular 'buttons' made from butter.

Red coloured torma, triangular in shape, are offered to fearsome protector deities such as Mahakala and Shri Devi. Torma are made from barley flour and constructed for several reasons. They are made as special offerings for specific deities on special days. They are sometimes used to represent the subject of an initiation ritual. They are also used as weapons during repulsion rituals such as turning back obstacles during New Years celebrations. They are sometimes depicted in paintings meant to hang in the temples of the wrathful protector deities.

Jeff Watt 5-2005

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Region: Zangskar, Northern India
Subject: Tibetan Influences on Buddhism
Subject: Torma Offering Main Page
Collection of University of Michigan (Koelz Collection)
Subject: Offerings Main Page