Moscow: Goznak, 1927. Item #1614
72 pp., VIII ills. 20x14 cm. In original publisher’s printed wrappers. Tears of spine with small fragments lost, light soiling of covers, otherwise very good and clean internally.
Scarce. First edition. 1 of 1,000 copies.
An interesting overview of the pantheon of northern Buddhism and Lamaism by the noted Soviet archeologist and ethnographer Boris
Kuftin (1892-1953). The study was based on the collections exhibited in the Moscow Central Museum of Ethnology, which at the time possessed the most extensive assortment of Buddhist art objects in the Soviet Union. This edition was issued three years after the establishment of the Museum by one of the employees, Boris Efimov, who was soon accused of counter-revolutionary activities and exiled to Vologda for 3 years. In the book, the author gives a concise outline of the most important moments in the history of the northern schools of Buddhism from the point of view of the development of the pantheon and cult. The narrative is supplemented by a list of useful literature and a brief overview of individual groups of images in the Lamaist system. The publication also contains descriptions of all exhibited items with 8 tables of illustrations showing the rarest pieces from the collection. After returning from exile, Kuftin settled in Georgia, where he worked at the State Museum. At different times, he participated in a number of expeditions in Trialeti, Abkhazia, etc.