Ornately engraved Tibetan skulls were used as talismans that were believed to lift a family curse or guide a soul gone astray.
In Tibet, an engraved human skull is a powerful piece. The carvings in the bone are made to take a curse off a family or to guide the soul of a mislead human on the right path to enlightenment.
Engraved in the forehead are the Citipati, also known as “Lords of the Graveyard.” They are depicted in the “bow and arrow” posture (elbows and knees intertwined) which refers to the highest grade of the Outer Tantra.
There are seven tantric levels. 3 levels of the Outer, and 4 levels of the Inner Tantra.
On the highest grade of the Inner Tantra, the skeletons would be depicted copulating.
The more ornate Tibetan Kapala skulls are embellished with silver and semi-precious stones and were commonly used as a ritual bowl to drink blood out of during ancient human sacrifice rituals.