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The prayer flag tradition is ancient, dating back thousands of years in India and to the shamanistic Bon tradition of pre-Buddhist Tibet.

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As they climbed further into the mountains, she saw little coloured flags tied to sticks, anchored by stones or wrapped around rocky outcrops. Berit said they were prayers...

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O-mikuji or Sacred Lots 1910s, Japan.  O-mikuji (おみくじ) is a form of divination that relies on random chance to predict the answer to a question. Traditionally, a small box with a slot in one end is shaken until a bamboo stick falls out. The stick has a number that corresponds to a slip of paper on which the fortune is revealed.  Text and image via Blue Ruin 1 on Flickr

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