In Tibetan buddhism, Yama is a wrathful protector who presides over the cycle of death and rebirth. He has a buffalo head and stands on a male buffalo lying over a corpse. He is adorned with the wrathful ornaments (five-skull crown, bone jewellery, garland of severed heads) and wears a tiger skin as a loin cloth. In his right hand he may hold a curved knife or a sword, in his left hand he may have a skull cup, a lasso or a mirror.
The shape of the scarf and the cross belt indicate a Chinese influence and help date the sculpture from around the 16th century onwards.
Here, the raised hair and the head seem out of proportion with the unusually slender body.