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Goddess Vajravarahi Dancing with Chopper (karttrika) and Skullcup (kapala)

A work made of bronze with gold paint and pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze with gold paint and pigment.

Date:

15th century

Artist:

Tibet
Central Tibet

About this artwork

The goddess Vajravarahi, one of the many manifestations of Vajrayogini, a tantric female Buddha, is so called because she has a tiny sow’s head (varahi) above her right ear. The wild boar, a ferocious, aggressive animal symbolizes her relentless power to achieve liberation, overcoming all obstacles. She usually dances upon a corpse, absent here, and holds a flaying knife (kartrika) in her raised right hand and a skull cup (kapala) in her left. She is the consort to the god Samvara and is one of the few goddess-spouses to enjoy an independent cult status. She is especially revered by the Drukpas, a sub-sect of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Arts of Asia

Title

Goddess Vajravarahi Dancing with Chopper (karttrika) and Skullcup (kapala)

Origin

Central Tibet

Date

1401–1500

Medium

Bronze with gold paint and pigment

Dimensions

11.8 × 6.9 × 3.3 cm (4 5/8 × 2 11/16 × 1 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Marilynn B. Alsdorf

Reference Number

2014.1015

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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