WHAT IS THIS THING? Mystery museum object #2

Picture of a mystery museum object (fly swatter) National Museum Scotland

WHAT IS THIS THING? Inspired by a mystery object tweeted by one of my favorite websites, Collectors Weekly, I’ve decided to make a little game out of some of my own ridiculously interesting MYSTERY MUSEUM OBJECTS. Try to guess what this strange thing is before scrolling down for the answer!

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No peeking….

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Keep scrolling….

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Did you figure it out yet?

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A little farther…

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THE ANSWER:

This is a late-19th or early-20th century fly-whisk (or Ngayab) from Tibet, from the collections of National Museums Scotland. It is made from the tail of a yak, with a wooden handle. Although its practical application is for flicking away bothersome insects, it also has spiritual significance in Tibetan Buddhism as a symbol for protection through non-harming principles. In the Newar Buddhist tradition of Nepal, a pair of fly-whisks is also one of the eight auspicious symbols, representing the Buddha’s sovereignty (See: The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols, pages 177-178).

Did you figure out what this object was before you read the answer? If not, leave your guesses in the comments! For more, see: Mystery Museum Object #1, Mystery Museum Object #3, Mystery Museum Object #4 and Mystery Museum Object #5.

// Image from the collections of National Museums Scotland.

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6 thoughts on “WHAT IS THIS THING? Mystery museum object #2

  1. Pingback: WHAT IS THIS THING? Mystery museum object #3 | The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things

  2. Pingback: WHAT IS THIS THING? Mystery museum object #4 | The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things

  3. Pingback: WHAT IS THIS THING? Mystery museum object #5 | The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things

  4. Pingback: WHAT IS THIS THING? Mystery museum object #1 | The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things

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