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Currently shown

Sculpture of a Yakshini

Location

SRI LANKA

Culture

Sinhalese

Title

Sculpture of a Yakshini

Date

17th-18th c.

Materials

Ivory

Dimensions

14.5 x 7.2 x 6.3 cm

Credits

Gift of Miss H.A. Budden, inv. 1943.Eb.2

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

From Sri Lanka’s earliest days, ivory sculptures were carved with various deities, especially yakshinis, voluptuous female attendants inspired by Hindus mythology, like the one here enclosed in an openwork dome of vines and trellises. Over time, Sri Lankan ivory carvers altered their styles in response to various patrons, either local or foreign, shifting seamlessly from local subjects to Portuguese and later Dutch subjects, both religious and mundane. Their dialogical response can be appreciated in the large number of caskets, religious images and smoking pipes carved out of South Indian elephant tusks to satisfy the Western obsession for precious ivory.

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