List of Curios No 288:
Per Do-nam-pa Wangyal. Image of Jetsün Drölma given me by Do-nam-pa Wangyal on 29th July 1937 at Edgcumbe. He tells me as follows: This image is many hundreds of years old. It was made in India, not in Tibet, and was brought to Tibet in the old days when many Indian Buddhist priests came there. It was given to me by a friend of mine in the Dre-pung monastery. His ge-gen (spiritual teacher) having died, he has inherited the ge-gen's property and he has given this image to me. When a ge-gen dies, he is succeeded by his oldest disciple (ge-truk), who becomes ge-gen, and inherits the bulk of the former ge-gen's property. This image has been passed down from one ge-gen at Dre-pung to the next through numerous generations. It is not simple copper, but has gold, silver etc, mixed in to in the dze-kyi-ma process.
Curator's note: The giver of this figure was Ngawang (or Geshe) Wangyal who accompanied Bell as translator on his trip to Manchuria, Mongolia and China. Geshe Wangyal established the Tibetan Buddhism teaching programme at Columbia University, USA. He travelled to the UK in 1937 to stay with the explorer Marco Pallis, visiting Bell during this trip.
Written by Emma Martin