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Head of a Yaksha

India, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

Not on view

Monumental yakshas, or nature deities, were a particular feature of the north Indian city of Mathura, the so-called City of the Gods that was a center of early religious artistic production. In its original state this figure would have exceeded ten feet in height, one of the largest recorded such images. His elaborate turban and pendant ear ornaments reflect the noble dress of the day. The most famous of the yakshas was Manibhadra, the wealth-protector, who carried a money purse as his defining identifier. He was likely the first truly pan-Indian yaksha, his devotees drawn from itinerant merchant communities. With the rise of monasteries, trade and craft guilds became major patrons of Buddhism; many guilds that traded along the Mathura highway are named in donor inscription

Head of a Yaksha, Sandstone, India, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

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