"It is not impossible that objects belonging to nonhuman beings may fall
into human hands; quite a few of such marvelous objects do exist."
~ Chögyal Namkai Norbu ~
Thogchags or Thokcha (Wylie: Thog lcags) are worn as amulets by Tibetans and people of the Himalayan regions for protection and healing. They can be seen in many different forms and often depict tantric deities, sacred animals, auspicious symbols and mantras. Many can represent ritual supports such as a mirror, phurba or vajra for example. Some pieces can be rather abstract in nature and the meaning of the form has long since been lost in antiquity or further research is still required. Other Thokcha may simply be ancient arrow points, buckles, body armor or even old horse trappings. Genuine pieces are believed to be made from any combination of meteorite, iron, bronze, copper and sometimes other metals. Some pre-Buddhist pieces may be as much as 3000 years old and originate from Persia or Central Asia. The rarest and most sought after thokcha are said to be made from meteoric metal known as 'Namchak', which literally means 'sky iron' or 'sky metal'. Very old pieces can have a distinct patina and can be worn smooth from centuries of handling and being worn on the body. They have a unique feel that is impossible to replicate.
The word thog or thok can mean first, primordial or thunderbolt (Bellezza) and chag or chak means iron or metal, and so the name thogchag is often translated as 'thunderbolt iron' or 'primordial iron'. This also supports the belief that thokcha are created from lightning strikes or are even self manifesting. In Tibetan medicine, thokcha are seen to have certain healing properties and are sometimes prescribed to heal ailments such as epilepsy and paralysis. Chögyal Namkai Norbu tells us that they were also used as supports for protector deities and astrological calculations. In some cases they are also considered to be objects belonging to three classes of nonhumans. These beings are known in Tibet as: Lha - celestial beings of the sky, gNyen - powerful beings such as deities of the land, and Lu - the naga beings of the underworld.
Ancient and older thokcha pieces are becoming increasingly difficult to find and some rare amulets are very costly. We offer a selection of pieces that are believed to be ancient, antique and some are more recent creations. We are unable to authenticate their exact age and place of manufacture, however, the majority of our pieces are sourced from Tibetan traders in Tibet and the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal. We also source a small amount from private Tibetan collections that were gathered long before replica pieces were being made.