1925 photo of a Tibetan skeleton dancer




I’m not saying it was aliens. But it was aliens.

Afterthought: I like the heart at the center of the chest. Didn’t realize the symbol was so widespread, and in use for far longer than expected.


I’m assuming this is a depiction of some variety of Heruka, a type of “Wrathful Deity”, divine/enlightened beings in Buddhist legend that took on fierce appearances in order to act as protectors and fulfil an apotropaic role. I think this particular variety is a “Kinkara”, but I’m not certain.


Followed the link to the tumblr. Cool images.


Also, if you twist the right parts, he transforms into Golden Dragon Autobot.


Seems so long ago, yet my grandmother was 7 when the photo was taken. Had she been in Thailand she could well have remembered that guy’s dance and describe it today.


That is a hell of a great photo image!


I agree. I’m very interested in the history of this symbol now. I assume, very specifically, it is representing the dancer’s heart in this case.


Last year I went to the Choni (Zhuoni) monastery in Gansu where this photo was taken. It is now in a forbidden area and I was arrested and kicked out of town, but not before I managed to get a few pictures of this ghostly place - it is now almost deserted. I wrote about it on my blog In the Footsteps of Joseph Rock


Nice blog. Have bookmarked for further reading. Pinks hate spiritualism. Party dogma rules absolute. Thanks for posting.


I do think it’s a very very old symbol. Old like Mohenjo-daro. Also, it’s the heart of a skeleton, so that’s cool.


The image is not a depiction of Heruka. It is just a skeleton. A Heruka mask is quite different. The accompanying dance that goes with this costuming can be seen in the background of this image . The monks from Drepung Loseling along with other smaller monasteries perform these sacred dances for non-buddhist audiences though entertainment and cultureal events.

I think it is very unusual that there is a heart on the center of the skeleton’s sternum. The heart is not a Tibetan symbol, has no meaning attached to it in Tibetan or buddhist culture and I have never seen one on the many skeleton costumes I have seen. It almost looks like it had been added when the tinting was done.

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