On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

A single rkang-gling ('leg bone flute') is used with a pellet drum to escape epidemics. Pairs signal the entry of ritual dancers, and perform rituals connected with fierce deities. The head of a chu-srin (Sanskrit: makara), a sea monster or a dragon, often provides a decorative metalwork bell. When the rkang-gling is made of metal, bosses decorated with trefoils cover the joints where the sections of cooper and/or silver tube are joined. The trefoil, a three cusped design, is an emblem of power and authority and is used as the head of a scepter. The chu-srin and dragon are associated with water and rain and may decorate the rkang-gling.

Rkangling, Copper, Tibetan

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89.4.108 (top) and 89.4.3494 (bottom)