Unlocking the Mystery: Hearing the Whispers of the Mystic Tantric Skull
Author(s)Doelger, Gabriel P.
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThe purpose of this research is to evaluate the biological features and cultural framework of a human skull identified as Tibetan Tantric skull. Tantric skulls are often associated with a ritual cups or bowls, known as a Kapala. The interpretation of Kapala in Sanskrit means “skull”. Kapalas are cups or bowls fashioned from human skulls and were used in both Hindu and Buddhist Tantra. Most frequently, in Tibet these Kapala cups and bowls were carved or extravagantly ornamented with precious jewels and metals. Biological analysis, including calculation of ancestry using the state-of-the-art computer software for discriminant function analysis of cranial measurements (FORDISC) will be joined with a cultural study of the ornamentation to research the possible origin of this particular skull, which was seized by local law enforcement several years ago and has now been made available to Dr. Mulhern and her students for study. This in-depth case study will be utilized as supporting documentation for future Fort Lewis students learning about this Tantric skull. The case study analysis and assessment includes biological data (age, sex, and biological ancestry), iconography, iconology, workmanship, age of construction, associated evidence, possible association to cult activity, perspective in domestic dwelling of seizure, and greater cultural context
TypeConference or Workshop Item
Doelger, Gabriel P. (2013) Unlocking the Mystery: Hearing the Whispers of the Mystic Tantric Skull. In: NBS Symposium 18 April, 2013, 18 April, 2013, Fort Lewis College.