H. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm); W. 14 in. (35.5 cm); D. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Gift of John and Evelyn Kossak, The Kronos Collections, 1983
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 245
Spirits—some protective, many malevolent—have always populated the landscape of Southeast Asia. Among the earliest surviving figurative sculptures from the region are enigmatic images best understood as personifications of the land and its elements—rocks, rivers, and trees. These nature-cult figures (yakshas and yakshis) existed alongside the emerging Hindu culture in mainland Southeast Asia and reflect a marriage of the two traditions. In an Indic setting, this deity probably represented Kubera, king of the yakshas and guardian of nature’s wealth.