Black Jambhala

13th century

Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art

Jambhala is a wealth-bestowing deity, as expressed by the characteristic attribute he holds in his left hand, a mongoose disgorging jewels. It is believed that eliminating the “poison” of greed brings wealth. Snakes are a symbol of avarice, and the mongoose, as the destroyer of the snake, is therefore seen as a symbol of prosperity. Images of the mongoose disgorging jewels are meant to remind us that we receive by giving. Jambhala’s broad belly reflects a common visual expression of prosperity found across Asia.

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  • Title: Black Jambhala
  • Date Created: 13th century
  • Physical Dimensions: H 9 x W 4.5 x D 3.5 in.
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Rubin Museum of Art, C2002.41.1
  • Medium: Metalwork
  • Place of Creation: Tibet
  • Exhibition History: Rubin Museum of Art, "Gateway to Himalayan Art" (07/23/10 - TBD)

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