This spearhead was probably made for use by an oracle, or in another ceremony or ritual involving the propitiation of a deity, as indicated by its form and decoration, and particularly by the prominently placed word kyai, written in a Tibetan script. This symbol, known as a seed syllable, was sometimes used to invoke a deity in ritual contexts.
[Art dealer, New York, until 2001; sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 1991–2002," September 4, 2002–January 18, 2004, no. 45.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sacred Traditions of the Himalayas," December 20, 2014–June 14, 2015.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Morihiro Ogawa. Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions, 1991–2002. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002. p. 48, no. 45, ill.
La Rocca, Donald J. Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. pp. 5, 16, 174, 176, no. 77, ill.