DakiniArtist(s)NepaliObject Creation Date19th centuryMedium & SupportstoneDimensions
8 1/2 x 5 11/16 x 2 3/8 in. (21.5 x 14.3 x 6 cm);8 1/2 x 5 11/16 x 2 3/8 in. (21.5 x 14.3 x 6 cm)Credit LineGift of Mr. & Mrs. Yale GinsburgSubject matter
Tentatively identified as a dakini, a "sky walker": a popular type of goddess in Tibetan Buddhism. Dakinis are shown naked, and as in this image, usually wear a garland of skulls, and carry a skull cup, a flaying knife, and a staff strung with human skulls. The symbolism for such images is complex, but broadly speaking, dakinis represesnt the spontaneous energy of the mind stripped of delusion and defilements.
Dakinis are a popular subject in Himalayan art, and the figure on this small stone corresponds to the standard iconography in all respects but one: normally a dakini is shown taking an aggressive stride, with both feet on the ground, but here, the sculptor has taken advantage of the stone "background" to show her left leg held high, in a monumental stride.Physical Description
A small stone sculpture in bas-relief, depicting a tantric goddess. The back of the image is carved in a stylized petal shape, while the figure is crudely carved in relief on the front.Primary Object Classification Sculpture Primary Object Typebas-reliefAdditional Object Classification(s)SculptureCollection AreaAsianRights
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skulls (skeleton components)