Mask of Vishnu as Para Vasudeva
India (Jammu and Kashmir)
H. 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm); W. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); D. 5 in. (12.7 cm)
Gift of Donald and Polly Bruckmann, 2004
Not on view
The Pancharatra sect of Vaishnavism believes in one supreme, transcendental being named Narayana whose greatest manifestation is called Para Vasudeva. The lateral animal heads—a boar and a lion (here missing)—refer to cosmic emanations (vyuhas) from Para Vasudeva. Such masks may have adorned wooden images that were elaborately clothed and could be paraded during festivals.
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