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The Mystical Arts of Tibet

Dul-tson-kyil-khor: Mandala of Colored Powders

On View:
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 — Wednesday, January 6, 2010


From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite.

In Tibetan, this art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor, which literally means "mandala of colored powders." Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks.

Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants.