111.242.122 Clapper bells

Greeb or dreebu (Monpa), dril-bu (Tibetan), a bronze handbell, cast in a mould. The brass handle is made in the form of half a five-pointed ritual sceptre dorjee (Monpa) rdo-rje (Tibetan) with a representation of a the crowned head of a goddess (possibly the goddess Yang gi see Helffer, M. Mchod-rol:les instrument de la musique tibétaine [Paris:CNRS, 1994] p.200) at its base. The bell also bears many symbolic motifs of Tibetan Buddhism, among them repeat patterns of ritual sceptres or thunderbolts within a border below the apex, above the flared rim, and around the waist of the bell between eight monsters’ heads and strands of pearls. The clapper is tied to a ring within the bell with a strip of leather.

The greeb is used in Buddhist rituals. It is held in the left hand with a dorjee (ritual sceptre) or damling (hourglass-shaped rattle drum) held in the right. Ritual bells used in the Tawang district are made outside the state of Arunachal Pradesh, and this example was probably cast in Thehradung, Uttar Pradesh, at an unknown date.

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