Bhutanese Lamas visit AMNH (October 11, 2011)

Bhutanese visitors with Museum staff

A group of Bhutanese Buddhist dignitaries visited the Division of Anthropology to see some tangkas (Buddhist paintings) and sculptures in the Museum collections. The High Lama Dorji Lopen Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche from Paro, Bhutan, and Lama Karma Namgyel who runs the Drukpa Mila Buddhist Center in Longmont, Colorado, were accompanied by a Bhutanese monk and two young Bhutanese ladies.

Lama Ngawang Tenzin graciously offered to perform a water purification ceremony to purify and bless the objects in storage and the Museum personnel present. He chanted the blessings accompanied by the sounds of a small hand drum and a bell. As part of the ceremony the storage area was blessed with purifying water and incense.

The water purification ceremony and blessings were greatly appreciated by Museum personnel. "It was very generous of Lama Ngawang Tenzin to honor the Museum by performing this ceremony," said Laila Williamson, Associate in the Division of Anthropology. "We value the Bhutanese visitors' interest in the Museum's Buddhist collections and their appreciation of the way the objects are cared for."

Water Purification Ceremony

Preparations for the water purification ceremony

Preparations for the water purification ceremony

 Performing the ceremony

Blessing Storage Area and Museum Personnel

Touring the storage area with water and incense

Touring the storage area

Offering purifying water

Offering purifying water

Examining Buddhist Sculptures and Tangkas from the Museum Collection

The Lamas viewing Buddhist sculptures in storage

Discussing tangka Pantheon of 300

Tangka Pantheon of 300, AMNH No: 70.2/8377 B

Examining tangkas

Examining tangka Samvara Mandala

Tangka Samvara Mandala, AMNH No: 70.3/1414

Additional Resources: Buddhist Objects at AMNH