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A kapala (Sanskrit for “skull”) is made from a human skull used as a ritual implement (bowl) in both Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra (Vajrayana). Especially in Tibet, they were often carved or elaborately mounted with precious metals and jewels.

Appliqué, 19th century. German. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Rogers Fund, 1909 (09.50.2189)

Battista Franco (Italian, ca. 1510–1561). Skull in Profile, ca. 1538. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.326)

Netsuke of Skeleton Astride a Skull, 19th century. Japanese. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Stephen Whitney Phoenix, 1881 (81.1.72) #Halloween #skulls

Rosary Terminal Bead with Lovers and Death's Head, ca. 1500–1525. Made in North France or South Netherlands. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.305) | Here, the striking terminal bead announces the constant proximity of death by joining a skull to the pair of vivacious lovers. Such an image is known as a memento mori (reminder of death), as it encourages one to reflect on the transience of life. #skeleton

Hand Painted, one of a kind, day of the dead paper mache skull MASK

Hand painted, one of a kind, day of the dead paper mache skull mask at Lessurdorraj