This hand prayer wheel is from Tibet, where it is called a 'mani lag khor'. It is missing its handle and contains no prayer scrolls, which are usually inside wheels such as this. Prayer wheels are spun by Buddhists as a way of repeating 'mantras' for spiritual benefit. The weight hanging on the chain from the drum allows it to spin more quickly.
Buddhists believe that each rotation of the wheel, and therefore the mantras inside it or on its surface, is as spiritually rewarding as reciting the mantra aloud. Wheels are generally spun clockwise, since this direction is considered to bring good fortune.
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