Manasa, the Snake Goddess

India (Bengal) or Bangladesh

Not on view

The goddess Manasa is seated in royal ease, displaying large circular ear-plug ornaments with engraved hamsa motifs, a torque, pearl necklace, and wears a patterned diaphanous waist cloth (dhoti); her armbands assume the form of an entwining snake. She is crowned with a three-pointed diadem and her hair, gathered in a bun, is offset to her left. Behind her head radiates the seven-headed canopy of the serpent naga, and in her lowered left hand she holds the body of a rearing snake. She gestures varadamudra with her right. Flanking Manasa at upper left is the engraved figure of a seated Hindu rishi, his hands raised in veneration, and upper right the figure of a male deity also seated in royal ease, most likely identified as Shiva by his piled-up hair (jatumukuta). Beneath the rishi appears four lines of an engraved inscription

Manasa, the Snake Goddess, Copper sheet, repousséd and engraved, with traces of gilding, India (Bengal) or Bangladesh

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