Colorful banner made of chevron-shaped pieces of textile supporting two paintings depicting woman at left, religious structure at right

Temple Banner with Seven Symbols of Royal Power and Offerings


19th century

Pigments on silk, hemp rope, cotton and ink

Catalog Number
C2012.4.4 (HAR 58989)

Rubin Museum of Art

Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin

This horizontal banner is part of a Tibetan Buddhist temple decoration that is usually hung by the rafters high along the wall. It depicts the Seven Attributes of Royal Power, or the symbols of a universal monarch (_chakravartin _in Sanskrit)—a wheel, jewel, queen, minister, elephant, horse, and general. These are often part of the offerings invoked during Buddhist rituals, including mandala offerings.

In addition to the Seven Symbols, Mount Meru occupies the central panel and wrathful offerings appear at the far right. The back of the banner contains the inscription “nub byang thur ‘tshams,” which translates to “the northwest corner.”