White Tara - Female Bodhisattva
This female deity of the Buddhist Pantheon is said to be born from the tears of the Bodhisattva of compassion (Chenrezi). She is believed to protect humans while crossing the "ocean of existence" and is portrayed seated like a Bodhisattva. She has seven eyes each on the palm, feet and one on the forehead and is seated on a full Vajra (or lotus) position and has full blooming lotus flowers adorning both her shoulders. Mainly worshiped for healing purpose and long life, she's also known for compassion and serenity. This particular statue is on a double lotus pedestal base and is decorated with turquoise and stones and is adorned with a bejeweled crown, earrings, two necklaces, armbands and bracelets. She is hand crafted with a mix of three of the five metal alloys of sacred significance used in making Buddhist and Hindu deities and idols; i.e. gold, copper and brass. Totally hand made, this statue depicts the fine workmanship of the people from eastern Bhutan, and is an heirloom piece approximately 100 years old. It measures 6" tall, 4" wide and 3 1/4 " deep. I acquired this fine detailed Tara in April, 2017 in Paro, Kingdom of Bhutan (locally called 'Druk Yul', "land of the thunder dragon"), which is nestled 7,200 feet above sea level in the western Himalayas. The Bhutanese treasure and revere their natural environment and habitat like no other country I've had the pleasure to visit.
A side note regarding rare Bhutanese hand-crafted artifacts; all are exclusively made by local artisans. The most common base of the material is that of copper, bronze, gold, silver, clay, wood and yak bone. Old items in Bhutan that have no historical importance to the country or are not a property of any institution or monastic body can be used for the purpose of business. However it is important and required that each item be fully verified from the concerned agency to ensure the integrity of both the buyer and the seller. A mark or seal is provided by this agency upon successful inspection of the object. Most items are sold by families who were wealthy in past centuries and now desire funds to fulfill the modern day requirements such as education, housing and etc. The mixture of metals used in the making of these artifacts enhances the preciousness and importance of the piece and is believed that the greater combination of metals, the more valuable its hidden spiritual power.