Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

Dakini

Accession Number
2000/2.157

Title
Dakini

Artist(s)

Object Creation Date
15th century

Medium & Support
bronze

Dimensions
4 9/16 in. x 2 1/2 in. x 2 3/16 in. ( 11.6 cm x 6.3 cm x 5.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Michele Caplan

Subject 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. In this example the goddess holds a vajra ("thunderbolt," a ritual scepter) in her upraised right hand, rather than the more usual chopper. She sways in a dance pose, bending her right knee and balancing precariously on her right foot—which crushes a tiny figure underneath. She is nakekd apart from jewelry and a long garland of 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.

Physical Description
A bronze image of a dancing figure, cast in the cire perdue (lost wax) technique in one piece with its lotus-petal base.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
casting

Additional Object Classification(s)
Ritual Object

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Buddhism
Himalayan
Vajrayana
dance (discipline)
goddesses
lotus (motif)
miniature (size attribute)
skulls (skeleton components)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display