Tibetan Mani Stones and the Materiality of Text

Author(s): Lars Fogelin

Year: 2018


Mani stones are large stone slabs with Buddhist prayers carved into their surface. In many parts of Tibet, Buddhist pilgrims carry these heavy stones during pilgrimage as an act of devotion. Pilgrims subsequently dry stack Mani stones into large structures including temples, walls and piles outside major religious intuitions. These structures lay, both literally and figuratively, outside of monastic control. In this paper I examine the varied ways Buddhist pilgrims use Mani stones, materialized prayers that most pilgrims cannot read, to shape and alter their religious lives—acts of individual devotion that organically create a shared sacred landscape.

Cite this Record

Tibetan Mani Stones and the Materiality of Text. Lars Fogelin. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444602)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 70.4; min lat: 17.141 ; max long: 146.514; max lat: 53.956 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20968