Finial of a Monk’s Staff, anonymous, c. 800 - c. 900
In antiquity sound played a major role in the Buddhist communities of Java. The bronze finial once adorned the top of a monk’s staff. The nine rings suspended from it would have jingled as he passed by, producing a purifying sound and also encouraging people to give alms. A Buddhist priest would use the handbell during a ritual, both to ward off evil spirits and to entreat the Buddhist deities.