Rkangling. Date: 19th century; Geography: Tibet; Culture: Tibetan; Medium: Copper, coral, stones; Dimensions: L. 36.8cm (14 1/2in.); Classification:

- Image ID: KNX2B7
age fotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: KNX2B7
Rkangling. Date: 19th century; Geography: Tibet; Culture: Tibetan; Medium: Copper, coral, stones; Dimensions: L. 36.8cm (14 1/2in.); Classification: Aerophone-Lip Vibrated-horn; Credit Line: Gift of Miss Alice Getty, 1946 / The thighbone of a lama priest is the original form of the metal trumpets in this case. 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.; Provenance: Henry Harrison Getty; Alice Getty