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

Tara

Accession Number
1981/2.156

Title
Tara

Artist(s)
Indian

Artist Nationality
Indian (South Asian)

Object Creation Date
10th century

Medium & Support
black schist

Dimensions
21 1/16 in x 12 3/8 in x 3 13/16 in (53.5 cm x 31.5 cm x 9.7 cm);21 1/16 in x 12 3/8 in x 3 13/16 in (53.5 cm x 31.5 cm x 9.7 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Fall 2013
Green Tara
India, Bihar or Bengal, Pala period, 8th-12th century
10th century
Black schist
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel, 1981/2.156
In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Tara can be translated as “star,” and thus her name emphasizes her role as a guide and savioress on the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Tara is the most popular goddess in Buddhism and is worshipped daily by those in need of compassionate action. This form of Tara, Green Tara, holds two lotuses, one open and one closed, and makes the gesture of gift giving with her palm facing outward, toward the devotee.
Although laywomen and nuns were active supporters of early Buddhism in India, goddesses did not play a major role in Buddhist imagery until about the eighth century. Northeast India seems to have been a center for Tara worship, which then spread to Nepal and Tibet, where it remains important today. Virtually none of the Pala period brick temples of northeastern India remain, but they were once decorated with sculptures like this one, which were set into wall niches as decoration.

Subject matter
In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Tara can be translated as "star" and thus her name emphasizes her role as a guide and saviouress on the Buddhist path to enlightenment. This form of Tara, Green Tara, holds two lotuses, one open and one closed and makes the gesture of gift-giving with her palm facing outwards, towards the devotee.

Physical Description
Black schist carved in the relief of Green Tara, a guide and saviouress on the Buddhist path to enlightenment. She holds two lotuses, one open and one closed and makes the gesture of gift-giving with her palm facing outwards, towards the devotee.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
relief

Additional Object Classification(s)
Sculpture

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
goddesses
gods (dieties)
stars (motifs)
stone (worked rock)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved