This Japanese daruma doll is made from paper maché and
painted with red lacquer. As with most daruma dolls, it is hollow,
and has no arms or legs like Bodhidharma, whom it is modelled
after. Bodhidharma was a legendary Buddhist monk whose limbs are
believed to have atrophied after many years of meditation.
While waiting for a wish to come true, one displays the daruma
doll in a high location in their home, usually close to other
significant items such as a Buddhist praying box (Butsudan).
According to information written in Ukrainian on two of its
paper labels, this icon comes from the iconostasis of a Ukrainian
church. The style of the icon seems to have been influenced by
Russian iconography. The form of the letters on the inscription
hints at an 17th or 18th Century
iconographer. The scene displayed is the Dormition of the
Theotokos, which is a popular Eastern Orthodox celebration of
the "falling asleep" (death) of the Virgin Mary, which is
believed to have been on August 15th. As shown, the
apostles are believed to have been miraculously transported from
all over the world to be by her side. (Ukrainian)
This traditionally styled oil lamp, used for marriage
decoration, was collected from an Indian market. The maker was a
Hindu tinsmith born in Gurajat, India. Such marriage decorations
are common in India. They are usually purchased in markets and
discarded after the ceremony. The lamp flame itself is a symbol of
good fortune and domestic purity. The aum and swastika (seen here)
are the most common symbols of auspiciousness in Hindu life.
Owned and used in Rajasthan, India, this wooden shrine was
painted and carved with local tools and materials. A traditional
bard travels from village to village, with such a shrine box. He
sets up under a tree in a triangle or on a porch and, for
donations, sings or recites the Ramayana story using the painted
panels of the shrine box as reference. At the center are three
images of Rama, Sita and Laxmana, the heroes of the story.
Sacred music is the essential complement to cult ceremonies.
Musical groups are used during ceremonies when presenting offerings
to a god in order to obtain its mercy. This musical assembly called
Phe Vo, consists in a pair of drums, a hourglass drum, a
buffalo horn percussion, a small gong, a pair of cymbals and oboes.