Handle with Intertwined Figures
early Malla period
Nepal (Kathmandu Valley)
H. 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm); Gr. W. 1 9/16 in. (4 cm)
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Perry J. Lewis Gift, 1990
This elaborate openwork handle for a ritual vessel is composed of a five intertwined nagas, snake deities charged with the protection of the earth’s waters and its riches. The nagas appear with human torsos, snake hoods, jewels, crowns, and extended snakes bodies. As this handle likely formed part of vessel for ritual lustration, naga imagery would be highly propitious.
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