Fur-lined hat from a Tibetan medicine man's costume

1986 in Nepal

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Fur-lined hat, part of a shaman's costume collected in Nepal,1986. General view. Black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Fur-lined hat, from Tibetan Shaman's costume, collected in Bhaktapur, Nepal, 1986

A Tibetan shaman wore this fur-lined hat as part of his costume. It was worn underneath a paper crown. Shamans are believed to hold the power to cure disease by contacting the spirit world. They often enter a trance-like state to discover why a person has fallen ill, and how they might cure it. Their physical appearance also impresses or intimidates spirits. Their costume marks them as an important person in the community.

A shaman ritual is just one medical tradition used in Tibet and Nepal. Others include biomedicine and Sherpa traditions. This costume was collected by a private collector while travelling through Kathmandu valley in Nepal. The collector literally bought the costume off the man’s back and donated it to the Science Museum. The costume was bought from shaman who had travelled weeks to attend the Tibetan festival of Bodhnath. This takes place at the Great Buddhist Stupa (monument) in Kathmandu.


Asian Medicine
Object Number:
1987-716 Pt4
hat and shaman
  • furnishing and equipment
  • costume
  • headgear

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.