Chaz wrote: Dharmaswede wrote:
Indeed! I would say that source is quite crucial when it comes to non-bone implements as well - but for somewhat different reasons. Scripture and tradition do contain rather detailed descriptions on anything from the type of wood to shape, dimensions, "decorations", treatment of skin etc. (some info on this can be found here: http://www.damaruworks.com/damaru/damaru-qualities/
) – which you don't really see in the touristy stuff. It is very much about supporting the authentic religious craftmanship tradition as well!
I think that's an awesome resource although a a bit narrow in focus (Chod) and the prices are a bit high. Just the same, I think a buyer could rest assured that they're getting the real deal and not some touristy POS.
I have no knowledge of the claimed authenticity of lineage or origin of bone, but my 'marketing' radar twitched. It doesn't make them honest or dishonest, but here's what I read into the site:
- Don't buy from India, Nepal opr China (with horror stories)
- Don't but second-hand
- Don't pay less than we charge and especially not from our competitors like potalagate. (Do Buddhists swipe at the competition?)
We source our skull from a village which we describe as being incredibly remote.
So they try to demolish the competition with some subtle condemnation, and ask us to believe that rather than source skulls from the many many practitioners of Chod in places which are easy to reach, a small village is the source (a story which you are unlikely to be able to challenge). Given the death rate in this village, why go to all that effort when there must be many available in larger areas of population?
There's another company (Zanzibar) offering kapalas etc.
If I did not already possess the items I need, I would not buy from a website. I would ask my guru if he thinks I should have one, and ask for his advice on what to buy, and ask him to use his contacts to find a genuine item for me.
The Buddhist 'market' is full of very convincing fakes. One eBay seller of thogchags and tsa tsas in the UK sells his 'authentic' items from a Lama's 'private collection' for as much as ten times the price of a similar item from a German seller whose descritpions are always accurate. I suspect both have bought and use the same moulds. The first seller also offer some magic oil and makes many claims for it. I have reported him to UK Trading Standards.
Please understand that I'm only questioning the need for all the hype, not the authenticity, as I simply have no idea about that.
If the goods are genuine and scarce, they would surely be sold out a dozen times over?