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David C. Graham Collection

Maxey Catalog Number



Tibetan prayer wheel made of copper with a plain wooden handle. The wheel is attached to the handle by a wire through the center. On the side of the wheel is a metal link chain with a faceted weight at the end. Tibetan script encircles the sides of the wheel. A circular diamond pattern decorates the top and bottom of the wheel. 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 Tibetian 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." Display Tag from South of the Clouds states: "Tibetan prayer wheel. [Each turning of the wheel helps a soul to be reborn from Buddhist Hell.] (DCG)."


Physical object


Copper, Wood

Number of Artifacts


Cultural Affiliation


Spatial Coverage



Dr. David Crockett Graham


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