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Long Prayer Stick

The ikupasuy is a sacred object used for prayer. The worshipper dips the sharper end into rice wine (sake) or millet beer, and then sprinkles drops of the liquor. The ikupasuy is believed to be a medium for sending a message to a spirit or god. Delicately carved in relief on plain wood, ikupasuy show numerous design variations. They were sometimes lacquered by neighboring Japanese.

Catalogue Description:
Long hardwood "mustache lifter"/prayer stick with one straight and one pointed end. Elaborate carving in relief on front. Condition: good. From accession card: "Iku-Pashu (Ritual Drinking Spatula)." One straight and on pointed end and elaborate carving in relief on front. The pointed end of the spatula was dipped into a cup of wine and moved up and down in front of the face, ritually offering wine to the "kamui (spirits)." They were carved from hardwoods, usually left unpainted and sent to Japanese workshops for lacquering. There are seven kinds of "iku-pashui," including certain types used for religious ceremonies and others used only by women and children. Condition: good.


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