Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Pair Of Malay Kipas Pengantin / Bridal Fans

The kipas pengantin / bridal fans are used during bersanding ceremony for the Malay weddings.

The bersanding (enthronement) ceremony begins with the groom's procession with friends, relatives, musicians and people waving bunga manggar (palm blossom) to meet the bride. Often various good-humoured attempts are made to waylay or stop the groom from getting to the bride. The main part of the bersanding involves the seating of the bridal couple on a dais and sprinkling them with yellow rice and scented water by family members, relatives and guests as a sign of blessing. Each guest will receive a bunga telur (egg flower), a decorated egg with a fabric flower, as a sign of fertility. The couple are considered royalty for the day, and so various royal customs are performed for them, including musicians playing court music and 'bodyguards' performing a display of pencak silat (traditional Malay martial arts). Also, standing besides both couple will be their best man and bridesmaid, who constantly fans the sometimes blushing couple with the traditional Malay hand fan, not because it’s hot, but more to fan away the jitters.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tibetan Conch Horn / Shankha

Shankha, translated from Tibetan is literally “white conch”, is a trumpet formed from a white conch shell of the species of large predatory sea snail, Turbinella Pyrum, which lives in the Indian Ocean. It is heavily decorated with ornate patterns in metals such as silver, bronze or tin and is topped with bright beads, which is said to represent good energy. The conch shell of ritual and religious importance in both Hinduism and Buddhism.

In Hinduism, the shankha is a sacred emblem of the Hindu preserver god Vishnu. It is still used as a trumpet in Hindu ritual, and in the past was used as a war trumpet. The shankha is praised in Hindu scriptures as a giver of fame, longevity and prosperity, the cleanser of sin and the abode of Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and consort of Vishnu.

The shankha is displayed in Hindu art in association with Vishnu. As a symbol of water, it is associated with female fertility and serpents. The shankha is the state emblem of the Indian state of Kerala and was also the national emblems of the Indian princely state of Travancore, and the Kingdom of Cochin.

The shankha is one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism, the Ashtamangala, and represents the pervasive sound of Buddhism. The overall shape of the main body of the shell is oblong or conical. In the oblong form, it has a protuberance in the middle, but tapers at each end. The upper portion (the siphonal canal) is corkscrew-shaped, while the lower end (the spire) is twisted and tapering. Its colour is dull, and the surface is hard, brittle and translucent. Like all snail shells, the interior is hollow. The inner surfaces of the shell are very shiny, but the outer surface exhibits high tuberculation. In Hinduism, the shiny, white, soft shankha with pointed ends and heavy is the most sought after.

Below is an antique Tibetan ritual conch shell trumpet, covered with a heavy layer of hammered silver and inlaid with coral and turquoise. This is a master silversmith work of art with chiseled details in relief and with additional inlays of turquoise and coral. The open area has all eight auspicious symbols in silver with a fiery Cintamani in the center. The top silver-work leading to the lotus blossom mouthpiece has four-petaled flowers and various animals engraved in bas-relief.

Several animals which are depicted around the top spiral of the shell: a mongoose, tiger, sheep, hare and one unidentified animal that may be a bore. Two tigers occupy the silver & gemstone horn's opening. The pointed base is tipped with a turquoise end and has champka fruit from the wish-granting tree.

Length : 25cm

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