Posted on 03/24/2008

Photo taken on March 24, 2008

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Mala 4b - Mala

Mala 4b - Mala
Help Wanted 3a :

this Mala is aproximately 112 cm in length and is made up of carved nuts. It starts with an oval bead with 4 symbols on it and descends in 2 strands of beads carved as heads to a bead carved as a Buddha. Each nut is between 2.5 and 3 cm in length. Each strand consists of 2 sets of 9 heads with the heads at the start of the strand having a lot of head / facial hair and licentious / lascivious features. The heads towards the end of each sequence have little hair and calm contemplative features. Both sets on the strand on the left of the image have 1 head with the mouth open, both sets on the right of the image have 1 head with 9 dots on their foreheads. The beads are strung on green cord that seems relatively new (?) but the beads seem older, showing signs of usage in the wear of the facial features. I have found reference to 108, 54 and 27 bead mala but not to any 36 bead mala. I assume it is of East Asian origin. Can any one help identify this mala?