Numerous rituals performed to promote and attract health and wealth (spiritual and financial) in this and future lifetimes require some dynamic props. Small dough and paper effigies, made with dough molds and print blocks replicate householders, monks, the twelve animals of the zodiac, birds, beasts, reptiles, auspicious symbols, spirits of the water, earth, mountains, rocky crags and air as well as thread-crosses (to catch and trap malevolent forces) and offerings to peaceful and wrathful deities. The effigies in dough and paper may be offered as ransom to negative spirits, which possesses the effigies rather than living beings. Alternately, effigies of snakes, frogs or scorpions may be ritually destroyed to neutralize their poisons. Purification rituals may be performed to cleanse individuals, their households, the lands they hold or the herds of animals—horses, camels, yaks, sheep, goats and pigs—that are their very livelihoods.
Rituals and Ritual Implements