28. Lamp

28. Lamp
Height: 15.5 cm
Nineteenth-twentieth century
Catalogue number 28.
Accession number 88.562.

This lamp, conceived in the form of a lotus flower, was held in rituals much as candles were once carried to bed. A stem rising from a lotus base supports a ring of tiny cups which radiate from the center like the petals of a blooming flower. Each receptacle can be filled with oil to fuel a cotton wick. The handle takes the form of a vine by which the lamp can be raised and waved before the deity during morning and evening worship. After the fire has been graced by the deity, the sanctified flame is offered to all the family members, who receive its warmth in their palms and touch their heads to imbibe the blessing.

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