Hiranyakashipu, The Demon-King

Southern India, Tamil Nadu, probably Thanjavur district

Not on view

Only the two small fangs that protrude from Hiranyakashipu’s mouth indicate the demonic nature of this regally crowned character. In other respects he displays full kingly regalia, with a towering conical crown, while the winged panels framing his face are decorated with mythical leonine creatures (yali) and a lotus flower summit framed by parrots. The multiple layers of pigment on a cotton ground witness the mask’s repeated ritual cleansing and repainting before each performance.

Hiranyakashipu, The Demon-King, Wood with cloth and polychrome, Southern India, Tamil Nadu, probably Thanjavur district

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