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The first Dalai Lama Dge-'dun grub-pa (1391-1475)
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    A thang-ka (literally 'object that unrolls') is a painted Tibetan scroll. Creating these images is considered a religious act on the part of both the patron and the artist, and they are consecrated in a special ceremony. Thang-kas with gilt hand- and footprints of a lama are exceedingly rare. This one could belong to a series commissioned for the long life of the fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) or one of his successors. The centre of the thang-ka contains a portrait of Dge-'dun grub-pa, the nephew and disciple of Tsong-kha-pa, the founder of the most important monastic order of Tibet, the Gelugpa school. In the middle at the top is Tsong-kha-pa, surrounded by protector deities. Dge-'dun grub-pa received the title of first Dalai Lama posthumously.