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19th C. Close up, Stupa tsa tsa mold, bass and wood- nice patina.

Tibetan people believe that making tsatsas is a merit accumulating action. As holy objects, tsa tsas can be found inside stupas, prayer wheel niches, holy caves and monastery altars or beside holy mountains, holy lakes and other holy sites. Small tsa tsas can be put inside a portable amulet shrine (called Gau in Tibetan) and taken as amulets by those traveling. Making tsatsa is a compulsory skill of monks in Tibetan monasteries.
Stupas generally represent the enlightened mind of the Buddha. They were constructed since the early days of Buddhism. One of the symbolic meanings is that they represent the five elements: the square base represents earth, the round dome is for water, the cone-shape is fire, the canopy is air and the volume of the stupa is space.