This Tantric meditation mat was woven during the late 20th century in Tibet.
It features a man's body which is flayed open with various lines representing different layers of the internal nervous system. It is an expression of the Buddhist pursuit of bodily detachment. Practitioners of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism wish to escape the prison of the body in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. The rug would be used in meditation or as a seat of power or authority by advanced practitioners of esoteric Buddhism. The outer border alternates between a head and skull representing the transitoriness of life.
An exhibition on these rugs was shown at the Metropolitan Museum in 2010.
In very good condition. Loosely woven with a meaty pile and a floppy handle. Some light fraying along one end.