Total Weight 2 lb 0 ½ oz. (923 grams). Diameter 21.5 x 5.5 cm (8 ½ x 2 ¼ inches)
This extremely rare antique shaman ceremonial singing bowl is believed to date from the 17th century, and is the heaviest of five similar bowls recently found in the far west of Nepal, and currently in my possession.
Provenance is of no concern to those who trek to remote Himalayan villages to source and trade in bowls, so we will never know for sure, but I understand that all five bowls were in fact bought and sold together and therefore might well have formed part of a unique set or at least have originated from the same foundry. I have not previously encountered any others with quite the same form, and all possess the look and feel of great antiquity and purpose.
This particular bowl is exceptionally versatile. The fundamental note is a third octave F# (181Hz) when struck with a padded mallet or played around the rim with a ringer. It has an exceptional talking (squealing/wailing) voice when struck and rocked back and forth with a little water inside when struck, and also has some fountain ability when played around the rim. These odd abilities are employed to facilitate the transition from one reality, or world, to the next. However, it is equally likely that this bowl has served as a ritual or ceremonial vessel.
This hand-beaten and shallow bowl has a flat bottom and a wall that flares towards the rim. The slightly flanged lip is flat and even. The large mound or lingam at its centre is matched by an equally large depression or navel underneath. There are ritual gashes around the outer wall but no evidence of any decoration. It is structurally in superb condition, and relatively clean and stain-free, although a little grubby in places.
Please see the near identical E3 also listed on this website, as they would make a perfect pair. Click here.
A Tibetan silk brocade bowl cushion, a padded striker and 2 ringers are included in the price.