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Images from The Beede Gallery

Brass Horn (Dbang Dung), Tibet, 19th Century

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NMM 1491.  Brass horn, Tibet, 19th century.  Right side.

Left side



NMM 1491.  Natural brass horn (dbang dung), Tibet, 19th century. Conically shaped descendent of the thighbone trumpet, always of metal, usually brass, and typically larger. Stylized sea dragon (makara) in brass repoussé on bell. The sea dragon is viewed as a beast of great power and tenacity, symbolic of the cyclic nature of water and of human existence. Ringley Fund, 1976.

Sea Dragon (Makara) on Bell

Sea dragon facing forward
Back of sea dragon

The central decoration on the bell of this dbang dung is the repousée image of the head of a sea dragon (makara), including its two barbels (thin appendages employed as sensory organs) that extend outward from the nose, away from the surface of the instrument. An interlocking foliage motif blends into the dragon's scales; flames adorn the edge of bell; and, the "precious jewel" (a symbol of royal power) is mounted by two copper pins below the dragon's mouth, between the barbels.

Side Views of Makara Head

Sea dragon facing right
Sea dragon facing left

Side Views of Makara Head

Views of Mouthpiece

Mouthpiece Mouthpiece

Literature:  Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, The Shrine to Music Museum Catalog of the Collections, Vol. II, André P. Larson, editor (Vermillion: The Shrine to Music Museum, 1982), p. 26.

Thomas E. Cross, Instruments of Burma, India, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet, M.M. Thesis, University of South Dakota, May 1983, p. 68, plate XXIV.

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Most recent update:   July 28, 2014

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