Tibet, Yama and Yami

17th century, Tibet, Yama, copper alloy, private collection.

17th century, Tibet, Yama, copper alloy, private collection.

Yama, of hindu origin, is represented here as a buddhist protector, holding a lasso in his left hand and a stick in his right hand. With a buffalo head, adorned with a five-skull crown, bone jewellery, a cross belt, a garland of fifty severed heads, a tiger skin dhoti, he stands on a buffalo kneeling on a corpse. Next to him is his twin sister and consort Yami, also known as Chamundi or Chamunda, always represented at a much smaller scale than him.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Yama and Yami, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bonhams.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Yama and Yami, gilt copper alloy, photo by Bonhams.

The above sculpture shows Yami with the head of a wild goat. In Northern India there is a temple devoted to  Chamunda with votive offerings shaped like the horns of wild goats or deer.

18th century, Tibet, Yama and Yami, gilt copper alloy, stones, pigment, photo by Christie's.

18th century, Tibet, Yama and Yami, gilt copper alloy, stones, pigment, photo by Christie’s.

On this more modern version, she stands with both feet on the bull

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