Tangka is a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton or silk appliqué, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala. For the most part, Tangkas were intended for personal meditation or instruction of monastic students. A central deity is often surrounded by other identified figures in a symmetrical composition. They serve as important teaching tools depicting the life of the Buddha, various influential Lamas and other deities and Bodhisattvas. These devotional images act as the centerpiece during rituals or ceremonies and are often used as mediums through which one can offer prayers or make requests. Perhaps most importantly, Tangkas are used as a meditation tool to help bring one further down the path to enlightenment. These Tangkas are from the 19th century.