On two occasions, I've been able to to see mid-19th century photographs of Tibetan Buddhist practitioners and some of their implements (one was on display years ago at the University of New Mexico, USA; the other at George Mason University, USA). It seems to me that there have been some small but significant changes in the size and shape of some articles of practice, which seem to be increasingly standardized today. For instance, the chodpas I've seen photographed in practice over a hundred years ago might have much smaller and differently-accoutred damaru than one might expect to see someone using today--or not.
I'm wondering if these changes reflect easier manufacturing processes today compared to pre-industrial Asia, or changes in attitude/expectation toward practice implements, or something else entirely--or if I'm completely off the reservation in my reading of these images.
SOMEBODY'S HAD TOO MUCH TO THINK