The Sacred Cloth

 

 

 

The sacred cloth has been used for thousands of years as a means of communicating social rank, sacred communication, prayer, messages, nobility, and cultural beliefs. Long before the written word, 5,500 years ago, and perhaps before the spoken word 150,000 to 100,000 years ago, cloth has been used to encode social messages and to mark significant passages through life.  How do we know this? We know from the fragments and pieces left behind and the spinning whorls that have been found by archeologists in all corners of the globe. These tools or whorls that were used to spin thread, were made from all types of materials. Ceramic, metal, soapstone, wood, stone, and beads  have been found all over the world, which is an indicator that cloth and spinning occurred thousands of years ago in all parts of the world. Cloth has been used in the prayer flags of Tibet, Nepal, Siberia, to communicate prayers that travel to the ethers, as well as prayer ties that have been used by the Native American people of North America as offerings to the world of Spirit.

The sacred cloth can be found in the Thangkas of Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal. Thangkas are embroidered and painted silk cloths that have very specific Buddhist deities painted or embroidered on them. They were used as teaching tools by Monks as they were easy to transport as scrolls. The detail is extraordinary, and many Thangka painters spend their whole lives mastering the craft of painting Thangkas.

 

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