Himalayan textile canopies are used for a variety of purposes, but chiefly to protect from the sun and to establish the boundaries of a sacred or sacrificial site. This rare and important example in felt appliqué with silk fringe would most probably have been used during the ceremonial worship of a protector deity. Along the central axis of the canopy are two flayed humans (g.yang gzhi) with distended eyes. Their lower limbs are knotted together, supporting a circle of blood (khrag mtsho). Within the circle lies a blue ritual triangle. The human beings grasp serpents whose bodies wind through skulls, proffering vital delicacies to the protector deities: hearts, lungs, and kidneys. The wide border is similarly adorned with skulls and severed heads with distended eyes, hearts, intestines, lungs and the like. Felt was once particularly associated with shamanic practices of Mongolia and Central Asia.