Himalayan Art Resources

Blockprints: Prayer Flags Page (Buddhist)

Block Prints (Wood Block Prints)

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description
- Outline Page
- Bon Prayer Flags
- Prayer Flag Wood Blocks
- Dvajagrakeyura Flags
- 'Wind Horse' (Lungta)
- Gesar Flags
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Prayer Flags

A prayer flag is a printed image on paper or cloth intended to be thrown into the wind or fixed in place where the wind blows. The flags often contain images of animals, prayers and mantras, and later, images of deities. Prayer Flags are common in the popular cultures of both the Buddhist and Bon religions. Tibetan prayer flags are of Bon origin and likely borrowed from the Chinese. Traditionally the Bon prayer flags only depicted the five animals without the addition of sacred words or mantra formulas.

Jeff Watt 6-2003 [updated 4-2017, 9-2020]

Bibliography:

Tibetan Prayer Flags, Send Your Blessings on the Breeze by Diane Barker. Consultant Dru-gu Choegyal Rinpoche. Connections Book Publishing, 2003.

Tibetan Tantric Charms and Amulets: 230 Examples Reproduced from Original Woodblocks. Selection and text by Nik Douglas. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1978.