Tibet, 19th century; metal, wood, bone, paper; 11 x 2 3⁄4 in.; The Newark Museum, Gift of Mary Pyne Cutting, 1982, 82.82, photo: Robert Goodbody, Courtesy of Princeton University Art Museum.
Tibetan prayer flags are colorful squares of cloth strung together and printed with sacred images and beneficial aspirations. Like prayer wheels, these flags—when activated by the wind—are believed to have a purifying and uplifting influence throughout the universe. Not surprisingly, Chenrezig—along with Shakyamuni, Tara, and other bodhisattvas—often appear on prayer flags.