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This four-armed Hindu goddess is a yogini, a female embodiment of yogic power. She once graced a temple with at least forty-two equally life-sized sculptures of yoginis set in niches around a central courtyard.

Yoginis are both benign and ferocious. This sculpture's gracefully swaying posture, full breasts, and gentle smile, as well as the threshing tools in her upper hands, reveal that she confers blessings. In contrast, her unbound hair (a marker of female wrath), fangs, and skull cup (for drinking blood or liquor) indicate that she can be very dangerous if approached in the wrong way. Lightly incised into the pedestal is a duck, which indicates the goddess belongs to the class of flying yoginis known as sky travelers (khechari).

India, state of Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram or Kaveripakkam
ca. 900-975
Metagabbro stone
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler S1987.905

Details

  • Title: Yogini
  • Date Created: 0900/0975

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