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"Thanka", "Thangku" in Yolmo terminology, (literally meaning "flat image") is a religious Mahayanic Buddhist scroll painting, elaborately done on canvas, mounted in silk brocade and hung on the walls of Gompas (temples) and prayer rooms as an object of refuge or supplication.

"THANKA" is the name for the scroll banner screen hanging in every temple Monastery and family shrine in Tibet. They carry painted or embroidered pictures inside a broad colored border and they can range in size from the page of a book to the facade of an entire building. The picture is usually free hand painted on cotton canvas which is proceed by a thin dust-cover, the mounting is of colorful silk. A heavy wooden stick at the base allows a Thanka to be rolled up like a scroll for storage or transportation or to hang securely without flapping.

Thanka first appeared in Tibet around 10th.Century A.D. The scroll form seems to have been borrowed from China. This style of painting probably came from Nepal and Kashmir. Apprentice thanka painters have studied under experienced Lamas (Priests).

Thankas were widely used in monastery schools as teaching tools because of their convenient movability. Common folk hung them in thier homes as protection against evil spirits. At he highest level of religious practice; mystics, in a state of meditation, would become one with the Deity portrayed.

Thanka can be simple in design or very complicated. They can deal with a great number of subjects such as Tibetan theology, astrology, pharmacology, the lives of Buddhist saints, as well as Deities and Mandalas.

Some of the samples of "THANKA" are given below;


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