About this object

A simple copper arch-shaped ga'u with the kalachakra mantra embossed on the front. The ga'u is empty.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion; Container
  • Culture
    Tibetan
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Copper
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sergeant J Heaney
  • Collector
    J Heaney
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Lhasa
  • Date collected
    1904-09 before
  • Measurements
    100 mm x 120 mm x 35 mm; 3 15/16 in x 4 3/4 in x 1 3/8 in
  • Note
    Inventory notes record that: 'containing metal Buddha (obtained in Lhasa and not belonging to this box - transferred to No. 79) and a piece of brass and a piece of steel'. This show the difficulties of categorising the objects accumulated during the Younghusband punitive expedition. The ga'u was likely taken from a Tibetan soldier who had died on the battlefield, while the Buddha that Heaney placed inside to make the ga'u a more appropriate ethnographic specimen for the museum seems to have been bought in the bazaar in Lhasa. Written by Emma Martin.
  • Related people
    J Heaney (Collector)

Where is this object from?

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Events

  • Mission to Lhasa 1903-1904

    Start date: 1903
    End date: 1903
    Description: The British Mission to Tibet during 1903 and 1904 was an invasion of southern Tibet by British Indian forces on the pretence of negotiating trade relations between Tibet and British India. However, this was instigated primarily in the hope of preventing the Russian Empire from interfering in Tibetan affairs and thus gaining a base in one of the buffer states surrounding British India. The expedition was led by Colonel (later Sir) Francis Younghusband. It had a damaging effect on the British reputation, many Tibetans were killed and monasteries and houses were looted and/or destroyed along the way. The 13th Dalai Lama feld Lhasa before the arrival of the expedition and Younghusband negotiated, a soon to be repelled, convention with the Tibetan government or Kashag in Lhasa that was signed in the Potala on 7 Septmber 1904.

Object view = Humanities
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