Khata, a Tibetan gifting custom, is to bestow a ‘greeting scarf’ upon friends, relatives or guests.
If given upon arrival, it indicates a wish of welcome and happiness. When shared at departure, it symbolizes a safe journey home. So begins Sabina Savage’s enchantment with Tibet. The collection is a celebration of Tibet’s rich and endlessly fascinating artistic traditions, drawing on the stories and mythology native to its culture.
Her three designs for the collection – The Wind Horse, The Snow Lion and The Song Deer – are inspired by the thangkas of the region, a traditional Tibetan Buddhist style of painting on cotton or silk. Dripping with detail and color, these small works of art are often found in temples, monasteries and places of meditation. Sabina spent a great deal of time exploring the symbolism, textiles, rugs, architecture, sculptures, armour, jewelry and saddlery of Tibet – this collection is the union of her intense research with her equally intense imagination. Scrawled across each design is བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས, or tashi delek, a felicitous greeting meaning “good luck and good health.”
The Snow Lion
The Snow Lion brings the gift of strength. Its armour is detailed and impenetrable, its roar embodies the sound of courage and truth. It does not fly up the mountain, but its feet do not touch the ground. The Snow Lion’s appearance mimics the snowy glaciers and landscape around it, and when required, it will produce healing milk from its paws.
The Wind Horse
The Wind Horse brings the gift of luck and good fortune. As it ascends the mountain, it soars upon the air and bears the flaming jewel that fulfils all wishes. On its back rides the tiny mongoose, expelling brightly coloured jewels from its mouth; a sign of prosperity. The Wind Horse is the pivotal element in the centre of the four animals symbolising the cardinal directions (Tiger, Lion, Garuda, Dragon).
The Song Deer
The Song Deer brings the gift of serenity and harmony. Its presence is of happiness, but also sensitivity and watchfulness. It is accompanied by gentle music; conch shell trumpets are softly played, and the breeze of the white cranes’ wings herald its arrival. The parasol protects those around from harmful forces, and winter flowers blossom as The Song Deer near.