Tibet, wrathful females (4)

14th century, Tibet, Chakrasamvara retinue figure, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi, see close up and rear on Himalayan Art Resources 

A four-arm female figure with a dakini appearance and the head of a garuda. She holds a flaying knife and a skull cup in her main hands crossed over her heart, a drum in her lower left hand. The attribute in her missing left hand may have been a ritual staff.

14th-15th century, Tibet, animal-headed deity, phyllite, private collection, photo on Astamangala

Among the animal-faced dakinis on a mandala, Kakasya, of which we have seen several examples, has the head of a raven or a crow, Ulukasya has the head of an owl, Gridhrasya has the head of a vulture and Kangkasya that of a hawk or a kite. (Depending on textual sources the names vary: Kakamukha or Kakamukhi, Ulukamukha or Ulukhamukhi etc.).

17th-18th century, Tibet, Makaramukha and Simhamukha (or Makaravaktra and Simhavaktra?), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

These are Shri Devi’s main attendants and, as such, they don’t wear a crown crown. Simhavaktra holds a skull cup and a flaying knife. They may have both feet on the ground or stand on their left foot in a dancing pose.

18th century, Tibet, Vasantadevi, gilt copper with turquoise inlay and glass replacement, private collection, photo on Drouot   

Vasantadevi, the goddess of spring, a Shri Devi retinue figure who rides a mule and holds a sword in her right hand and a skull cup in the other. She has a crescent moon in her flaming hair.

18th century, Tibet, dakini, gilt bronze, 11th June 2009, Asian Art, lot 274, Paris, Sotheby’s.

Dakinis with four arms are often retinue figures in a main deity mandala. The above has a flaying knife and a skull cup in her main hands, what may be a mirror or a disc in the upper right hand, the attribute from the remaining hand is missing.

Tibet, various dakinis (4)

16th century, Tibet, Sabari, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Gauchet

One of the eight wisdom dakinis, Sabari/Shabari holds the effigy of a monk in her right hand and a fan or a khakkhara staff (as above) in the other. She is naked and adorned with a skull crown, a garland of skulls, a bone apron with ‘raining jewel’ pendants and bone jewellery.

16th century, Tibet, Dakini (labelled ‘Vajrayogini’), gilt copper, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai, photo by Sadao on Wikimedia

16th century, Tibet, dakini, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Artemis Gallery.

Probably a retinue figure in a mandala, this angry-looking female holds two implements in her main hands crossed over her heart, presumably a vajra sceptre and a bell. Her upper right hand clutches a drum, the upper left hand may have held a ritual staff.

17th century, Tibet, dakini, gilt bronze with turquoise, private collection, photo on AAG

A small but fierce-looking pot-bellied figure with an animal hide over her back, a flaying knife and a skull cup in her hands, a three-skull tiara and bone jewellery.

Circa 18th century, Tibet, Kurukulla, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A165 AS.

A non-tantric form of Kurukulla in her four-hand form, holding a bow and an arrow (missing here) in her main hands, the stem of a blue lotus topped with a manuscript in her lower left hand, a (missing) hook in the lower right hand.

18th-19th century, Tibet, Dakini, bronze, private collection, photo by Art & Antiques Group Amsterdam.

Tibet, various dakinis (3)

15th century, Tibet, Dakini, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with stone inlay, private collection, photo on issuu .

This female in a dancing pose is probably Chandali, one of the eight great dakinis, whose attributes are a wheel and a ploughshare. She has a third eye and wears a five-skull crown, bone accessories and a garland of skulls.

Circa 13th century, Tibet, Gauri, bronze (copper alloy), photo on Sanjay Kapoor.

Gauri is the one who holds a flaying knife and a fish (or a skull cup and a club made from a baby’s corpse). The above holds a flaying knife and a trident. She stands on a victim and wears bone jewellery and a garland of skulls.

15th century, Tibet, dakini, bronze (brass), private collection, photo on Christie’s

Pukkasi holds a small lion in her right hand and an axe in the other (or a ritual staff and some human limbs).

12th century, Tibet, dakini, bronze, private collection, photo on Artkhade

A four-arm figure standing in a dancing pose on a lotus atop an open-work base, holding the long stem of a lotus in her lower left hand and doing the fear-allaying gesture with the lower right hand.

15th century, Tibet, Kurukulla, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau on Hollywood Galleries.

Kurukulla, meditational deity and dakini, depicted here in her four-hand form, standing on a victim, her right knee supported by a lotus rising from the base. Her upper right hand is placed before her chest to draw an arrow.  She would typically hold the stem of a blue lotus and a bow in her left hands, a hook in her lower right hand.

Tibet, Simhamukha/Simhavaktra (3)

Circa 12th century (or later?), Tibet, Simhavaktra (or Simhamukha), copper alloy, in 18th century gilt copper shrine with turquoise inlay, at the Berkely Art Museum (USA), photo by Daderot on commons.wikimedia.org

Simhamukha is a lion-headed wisdom dakini and tantric deity who stands on one foot and wears a skull crown, a garland of severed heads, bone jewellery, and holds a flaying knife and a skull cup (except in the Bodong tradition where she is seated and holds a long-life vase). Simhavaktra may have the same form as Simhamukha when she is in a set along with another two animal-headed retinue figures.

16th century, Tibet,  Simhavaktra, gilt bronze with pigments, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau on Hollywood Galleries

The sharply pointed and slanting flaming hair is unusual for the place and period and denotes a Chinese or Mongolian influence.

Undated, Tibet, Simhamukha, bronze (brass), at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi (India), item 71874 on Himalayan Art Resources.

Simhamukha, complete with victim under her left foot and a flaming arch behind her.

18th century, Tibet, Simhavaktra (or Simhamukha), gilt bronze with pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

16th-17th c., tibeto-chinese, simhamuka?, gilt bronze+stones+pig., 26 cm, lab. narasimha dakini, mossgreen

16th-17th century, Tibeto-Chinese, Simhamukha? (labelled Narasimha Dakini), gilt bronze with stones and pigment, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

18th century, Tibet, Simhavaktra, bronze (copper alloy) with cinnabar, at the Dallas Museum of Art (USA).

Almost identical to a brass sculpture at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco published in a previous post, this one has red pigment on her flaming hair, eyebrows, eyes and mouth, which is not quite as wide open. She is adorned with bone ornaments and a Chinese-style cross belt with a wheel at the front, but no crown. She stands with both feet on a sea of blood, wields a vajra handled flaying knife and wears a human hide and a tiger skin over her back.

(As an attendant to Palden Lhamo, she always stands on both feet and wears no crown).

Tibet, various dakinis (2)

15th century, Tibet or Nepal, dakini, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with silver and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Polyauction.

This dakini with reddish hair holds a skull cup and another object difficult to identify from the photo (perhaps a tortoise, which would point to Vetali?).

17th century, Tibet, Sphotadakini, gilt bronze (copper alloy) and paint, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

This youthful female with three eyes, bared fangs and  long red hair has a yellow/gold body and holds what may be a noose, which would match the description of Pasha, one of four directional gatekeepers on some mandalas. Sphota has a red body and holds a chain, Ankusa has a white body and holds a hook, Ghanta has a green body and holds a bell.

17th c., Tibet, Kurukulla, gilt bronze+paint, 26 cm, Hermitage

17th century, Tibet, Kurukulla, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with paint, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

Kurukulla in her four-hand form, standing with one foot on a victim and holding a bow and an arrow, an elephant goad and a lotus. She has an effigy of Amitabha in her headdress and wears a mixture of peaceful and wrathful ornaments, including a garland of severed heads and a bone apron.

16th c. early, Tibet, Kurukulla, zitan wood+gilding, 20,8 cm, 4 arms, HK Sotheby's

Early 16th century, Tibet, Kurukulla, zitan wood (red sandalwood) with gilding, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

We have only seen one Tibetan sculpture of her with a skull cup in her left hand, which included a bow, an arrow and a drum in the other hands.

18th century, Tibet (or China?), Simhamukha (labelled Simhavaktra), bronze with cold gold and paint, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

Simhamukha stands on a lotus base atop a throne supported by two lions and a yaksha, accompanied by two attendants. She crushes a victim with her left foot and holds a flaying knife, a skull cup and a ritual staff. She has a tiger or leopard skin around her waist, a human hide across her back, and wears a garland of severed heads and a skull tiara. Her attendants are tiger-faced dakini Vyagravaktra and bear-faced dakini Rikshavaktra (who also accompany Simhavaktra, who has the same form as Simhamukha but smaller since she is an attendant, and who doesn’t wear a skull crown and usually stands on both feet, to lead Palden Lhamo’s mount).

Tibet, various dakinis

15th-16th c., Tibet, Kurukulla, c.a., 20,5 cm, Sotheby's

15th-16th century, Tibet, Kurukulla, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Kurukulla is a tantric meditational deity with a dakini appearance (naked, standing on one leg, adorned with wrathful ornaments). She has one head and two to eight arms.

15th-16th c., Tibet, Kurukulla, c.a., 20,5 cm, bow+arrow, stem, fingers crossed, hook, Sotheby's

The above has four arms and holds a bow and arrow in the upper left hand, the stem of a plant in the lower one. Her upper right hand does the ‘fingers crossed’ gesture, the lower one holds an elephant goad ( vajra hook).

 

13th century, probably Tibet, dakini Chandali, metal with gilding and pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Chandali normally holds a wheel (cakra) and a plough, or a corpse and a heart. This dakini holds an axe in her left hand and another object, possibly a vajra sceptre, in her right hand.

13th century, probably Tibet, dakini Gauri, gilt metal with pigments, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Gauri holds a fish in her left hand and a flaying knife in the other.

16th-17th century, Central Tibet, dakini, bronze (copper alloy), at the Patan Museum.

Possibly Vajrayogini, the above holds a skull cup and a flaying knife.

Undated (15th-16th century?), Tibet, Tsang province, Machig Labdron, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This historical female teacher is normally depicted as a wisdom dakini, with one head and three eyes, two hands in which she holds a drum and a bell, two legs in a dancing posture, adorned with a five-leaf crown, bone  jewellery and a beaded belt or bone apron. Apart from adding a garland of skulls, the artist has made an interesting use of the celestial scarf on this example, using it as a frame and a support for her right knee.

A view of the back shows that she wears both a cross belt and a bone apron.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Machig Labdron, silver on a gilt copper alloy base, stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The same character in a seated position, with three eyes, the same attributes and richly stone-inlaid gilt jewellery (most stones now missing).

Tibet, Simhavaktra/Simhamukha (2)

15th century, Tibet, Simhamukha (labelled Simhavaktra), black stone and pigments, private collection, photo by Renault Montméat.

Simhamukha is a generic term meaning ‘lion-faced’ and may refer to a meditational tantric deity, a wisdom dakini or one of the attendants to Palden Lhamo. As a main deity, she stands in a dancing pose, has flaming hair, wears a five-skull crown and bone jewellery, and holds a flaying knife with a vajra-handle or with a vajra sceptre incised on the blade, a skull cup, a ritual staff in the crook of her left arm. (As we have seen in a previous post, she may also be seated, in which case she holds a long-life vase in both hands).

Undated, Shri Devi retinue figure, copper alloy, at the Capital Museum in Beijing (China), published on Himalayan Art Ressources.

She may have a garland of severed heads around her neck and/or a human hide over her shoulders. Her left foot crushes a victim. 

17th century, Tibet, Simhavaktra, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (USA), photo from Wikimedia Commons.

As Simhavaktra, one of Palden Lhamo’s attendants, she has both feet on the ground and doesn’t wear a skull crown. The above has a human hide over her shoulders and a bone ornament with a wheel of dharma design.

17th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo’s attendant, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.