The Nepalese sash

A broad sash across the hips is one of the characteristics of most Nepalese bodhisattva sculptures from  the 7th century (approximately) onwards. In early works, such as the Licchavi Vajrapani published in a previous post and the Thakuri bodhisattva (possibly Maitreya) below, the sash is placed high up on one side and goes in a straight (more or less slanting) line across the hips. The sash is often knotted on one side and the ends fall neatly along one leg before ending either in a straight line or in a multi-pointed one. In later sculptures, the sash falls lower towards the knees and slackens into a round shape at the front. It is usually knotted at the back and, therefore, no fabric is sticking out on the sides.

9th-10th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, copper, private collection.

9th-10th century, Nepal, Thakuri period, bodhisattva, copper, private collection.

13th century,  Nepal, bodhisattva Padmapani, gilt copper, from the Sandor Fuss Collection.

13th century, Nepal, Early Malla period, bodhisattva Padmapani, gilt copper alloy and stones, from the Sandor P.Fuss Collection.

16th century, Nepal, Late Malla Period, bodhisattva Padmapani, gilt copper alloy, at the British Museum (London).

16th century, Nepal, Late Malla period, bodhisattva Padmapani, gilt copper alloy, at the British Museum (London).

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