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Thighbone Trumpet

Thighbone Trumpet

c. 1800

Bone, leather, and copper alloy

Overall: 7 cm (2 3/4 in.)

The Charles G. King, Jr. Collection. Gift of Ralph King in memory of Charles G. King, Jr. 1918.389


Did you know?

Tantric ritual trumpets are traditionally made from human femurs, but now they can be made from plastic, metal, or other materials.


Blown during tantric Buddhist rituals, this ritual instrument is made of bone to remind practitioners of the impermanence of the corporeal body. The horn is sounded to clear away obstacles to enlightenment, conceived as enemies in battle.

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