Artist/maker unknown, Tibetan
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This type of diadem, called rigs-nga in Tibetan, is worn during special initiation rituals when the monk-officiate is temporarily incarnated as a divine figure. The individuals painted on it are the spiritual fathers of the vast Mahayana Buddhist pantheon who rule over the five directions (north, south, east, west, and center). Thus wearing this diadem calls upon the powers of the entire pantheon.