Letter to two Nepalese warriors
Phurbus or shamanic ritual daggers (Nepal, first half of the 20th century). Sculpted wood.
Namaskar, Very Powerful Warriors.
I know you are male, without hesitation. And I deserve no credit for that because it is almost certain that the shamans who carved you were men. There are some female shamans, it is true: sex does not matter in the spirit world. But they are rare.
Your creators were shamans. This is a fact. And they are no more. That’s another fact. How do I know this? Because no shaman would leave behind or pass on his phurbu. Yes, this is the word, of Tibetan origin, which designates you in the regions of Himalaya where you are from. Phurbu or phurba, these linguistic details are of no import. The truth lies elsewhere, as was proclaimed in a Western series where your creators would have set surprisingly well. were equalled. For your world is that of spirits and ancestors. Celestial plans. Demons and white or black forces. With no ties to the rules of rational reasoning and Cartesianism.
No shaman, therefore, would pass on, hand over or sell his phurbu. Because it is a powerful and personal ritual weapon that every shaman sculpts himself. It must consist of three faces and three levels. Three, a sacred number in all cultures. Including those that are so closely linked in your mountains, highlands and valleys: shamanism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
When its shaman dies, the dagger loses all its power. And is found in Western museums and collections. Some are true works of art. They are or were powerful. But, above all, they are beautiful. Intriguing. Spellbinding. Magical, beyond the worlds and the death of their creators.
I called you ‘warriors’ and I bow to you with respect. Because that's what you are. Ritual blades to exorcise and heal: mental and physical diseases, so intimately linked in the world you come from. Combat and healing weapons. Your handling is exclusively reserved to high-ranking initiates. Only they, with your help, know how to defeat the demons by destroying their powers during long trance sessions. They alone know the mysteries and forces of the supernatural worlds, and the exact meaning of the symbols and figures they have carved to give you shape and life. The handle, three heads expressing the three fundamental emotions: Joy. Disgust. Serenity. The median body, representing Lightning, stylized with skilful interlacing or evoking animals and deities. And the blade: three faces, each with its own meaning and power, but which, united, will cut, literally, the power, the energy and the strength of the demons that the shaman will oppose in his cosmic battles.
There are other legendary warriors from Nepal, whose metal blade has been dreaded for centuries: the Ghurkas, the fierce elite corps of Indian troops of Her very British Majesty at the time she reigned over India. But you, Fearsome and Mighty Warriors of Wood and Magic, you transcend eras and worlds for the good and healing of humans.
And for this, I extend to you my gratitude and admiration.