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Exorcising dagger

  • Place of origin:

    Gyantse (county) (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast brass

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Dora Creagh

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a ritual dagger or 'phurba'. It used in Tibet for the protection of sacred areas and the controlling or destruction of negative spiritual forces. The power in such a dagger is believed to arise from the presence within it of a deity with which the monk or practitioner unifies himself.

Physical description

A ritual dagger with a blade issuing from the mouth of a makara, along two surfaces of the blade snakes extend. The body of the dagger is formed from a vajra with three wrathful heads of the Dharmapala or Protector of Religion, Hayagriva at the top. The symbol of Hayagriva, a horses head, crowns the heads.

Place of Origin

Gyantse (county) (made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cast brass


Length: 23 cm

Object history note

Collected by Captain Aubrey Osborne Creagh, 120th Rajputana Infantry at Gyantse while commanding the British Trade Agents escort 1909-1911.

Descriptive line

Exorcising dagger with a blade issuing from the mouth of a makara, Tibet, 19th century





Subjects depicted

Vajra; Deities; Horses; Makara; Snakes; Dharmapala


Ceremonial objects; Buddhism; Arms & Armour


South & South East Asia Collection

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