Tsa tsa are considered sacred objects and they are molded during special religious ceremonies. When we arrived in Bhutan, I started noticing all the curious small cylindrical cone shaped objects on stupas, under overhangs of rock and alongside many roadways. Any sacred or remotely scenic place that was at least partially sheltered from the elements seemed to have hundreds, if not thousands of these three-inch high sculptures. Some were painted gold, others were painted red, but mostly they were either white or natural earth tone. I was fascinated by them and ask Norbu, our guide, what we were seeing he explained the significance these tiny sculptures.
He explained that the artifacts, usually 108 of them (a sacred number in ancient Hinduism and carried forward into Buddhism), are commissioned by bereaved Buddhist families as a way of honoring and bidding farewell to their loved ones. The Bhutanese and Tibetan people believe that making