On Friday I gave you this object to identify:
I asked you what this is, what it’s for, how it works and where it’s from – no easy task based on the limited information available from the photo.
Nonetheless, through a process of group deduction you worked out that it’s a copper container that holds water and produces steam and it’s from Tibet. Pretty good going. The one thing that nobody got was the purpose of this object.
This ‘fire-bird’ is apparently used by Tibetan nomads to scare ghosts and spirits away from the campsite, which it does by producing a noise when the steam escapes from the ‘beak’ of the container as it sits on the embers of the fire.
I thought this would be a good mystery object for Halloween, since the most characteristic object of Halloween, the Jack-o-lantern, fulfils a similar role, albeit using a somewhat different mechanism. Happy Halloween!