Dec.6 Akiko Walley

Friday, December 6, 4-6 pm, CWAC 156

This workshop will pre-circulate papers. Please download here.

Everyday Magic: Objects of Daily Use in East Asian Buddhist Reliquaries

Akiko Walley
Maude I. Kerns Assistant Professor of Japanese Art
University of Oregon

One striking characteristic of Buddhist reliquaries is their diversity. The examples discovered from India to East Asia come in a variety of materials, vessel types, and ornamentations. Intriguingly, many of the vessel types chosen for these reliquaries had alternate uses in daily or ritual activities. This paper explores the ramifications of this sharing of vessel types between Buddhist reliquaries and other common or ritual utensils, focusing on examples from seventh- and eighth-century East Asia. It will argue that the choice of familiar vessel types in East Asian Buddhist reliquaries may have functioned as an expression of the magical nature of the relics of the Buddha that they contained, which were believed to actively respond to worshippers’ prayers and perform miracles.


Friday, December 6, 4-6 p.m.  CWAC 156
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