Tibet, a rare Vajrakila and consort sculpture

16th century, Tibet, copper repoussé and wood, at the Art Institute of Chicago.

16th century, Tibet, copper repoussé and wood, at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The deity is depicted with three wrathful faces, each with three eyes, six hands, four holding vajras and tridents, the other two embracing his consort, Dipta Chakra, and holding a three-blade knife or kila (phur.ba or phur.bu in Tibetan) at heart level. They have no legs, their upper bodies end in a kila shape decorated with six snakes and topped with a makara head. He has upward-going (flaming) orange hair and bushy eyebrows, and is adorned with skull crowns, a garland of 50 severed heads and some snakes. Her arms are extended out and she holds a skull cup and a flaying knife (or chopper).

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