Manjushri,  Bodhisattva of Wisdom, with Five Knots of Hair (Wuji Wenshu), Gilt bronze; lost-wax cast, China

遼 青銅鎏金五髻文殊菩薩像
Manjushri, Bodhisattva of Wisdom, with Five Knots of Hair (Wuji Wenshu)

Period:
Liao dynasty (907–1125)
Date:
mid-11th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Gilt bronze; lost-wax cast
Dimensions:
H. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm); W. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm); D. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mary Livingstone Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation, Janet Neff Charitable Trust and Christian Humann Gifts; Mrs. Robert Herndon Fife Gift, in memory of her husband; and Seymour Fund, 1967
Accession Number:
67.228
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 207
The five knots of hair represent the five syllables of a Sanskrit invocation, a-ra-paca- na, used in devotions to the bodhisattva of wisdom. Each syllable has a different meaning and can help a devotee gain such benefits as protection from illness.
[ Ellsworth & Goldie, Ltd. , New York, until 1967; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Ancient China," 2005.