Himalayan Art Resources

Ritual Object: Kila 'Purba' (Black Wood)

Black Purba | Kila 'Purba' Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Black Wood Kila Description (below)
- Wood Kila Page
- Yongle Metal Kila
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Three relatively large carved wooden kilas have bee associated by style and materials with the same workshop and period. A special characteristic of the black kila are the inlay of ivory or attached ivory earrings. It has been suggested by some that the kilas are made from Chinese rose wood. Additionally, some scholars have dated the works to Tibet in the 13th-14th century while others have placed them in the 18th century and of Chinese imperial origin under the patronage of the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799). Compare the wood kilas below with a Yongle metal kila. A wood carved Panjara Mahakala has striking similarities to the dark wooden kilas.

A Tibetan rumour does persist that claims the black wood purbas were carved from the legs of the bed in the Drolma Lhakang, Lhasa, that Atisha slept in prior to his death in 1054.

Jeff Watt 5-2015 [updated 11-2018]