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David C. Graham Collection

Maxey Catalog Number



Tibetan prayer wheel made of copper with a carved wooden handle. The wheel is held on the handle by a wire through the wheel topped by a brass knob. Tibetan script encircles the sides of each wheel. The wheel is decorated by three brass bands on the sides and brass filigree on the top and bottom. Folded prayer inscriptions inside. Accession File states: "6305 Tibetan Prayer Wheel Worshipers turn them around, holding the handle in their hands. The contents of these wheels are not prayers, but quotations from the Tibetan sacred books. Repeating these books is considered an act of great merit. Every time a worshipper turns the wheel around once, he has had the merit of reading all that is written therein. Sometimes these wheels are turned around by wind power, sometimes by water power, and sometimes by horses or other beasts of burden. Generally they are turned around by hand. This operation is considered the equivalent or a substitution for reading the Sacred Books, and it is thought to give merit with the gods and protection form the evil spirits. Secured by D.C. Graham at Tatsienlu, August, 1930 March 2, 1931."


Physical object


Copper, Wood, Brass

Number of Artifacts


Cultural Affiliation


Spatial Coverage



Dr. David Crockett Graham


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