Tibet, Yama

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.

15th century, Tibet, Yama, bronze and cold gold, private collection.

15th century, Tibet, Yama, bronze, cold gold, pigment,  photo by Christie’s.

 

16th century, Tibet, Yama, bronze, private collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

16th century, Tibet, Yama, bronze, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The shape of the scarf and the cross belt indicate a Chinese influence and help date the sculpture from around the 16th century onwards.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Yama, bronze, photo by Bonhams.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Yama, bronze, photo by Bonhams.

Here, the raised hair and the head seem out of proportion with the unusually slender body.

17th-18th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy and pigment, private collection.

17th-18th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy and pigment, private collection.

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