Object biography by Michaela O’Connor, view HERE.
Introduction: “The object I chose to discuss is the Protective Wood Block Print. This object was particularly appealing to me during the Treasure Hunt stage of the paper because I focused on Avalokitesvara for my first paper and found the bodhisattva’s importance in both religion and Tibetan identity intriguing. The Protective Wood Block Print is interesting because while this particular object itself is religious, wood block printing is not necessarily a religious endeavor (although this method of reproduction is used to copy religious texts often). This particular print is found in the Kataika Monastery in Amdo, pinned up on a doorway. The material of the print is cotton. While paper could be used for block printing, this cotton material seems to be more functional for its intended use of being hung up in a monastery. Cotton tends to be more durable than paper, which allows for the print to last longer and avoid disintegration if unprotected for a long period of time in a monastery. The color of the print is black ink on white cotton. This allows for the inscription to jump out from the print because the colors contrast so starkly.”