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SICY        Updated:2007-02-07      Text:Large /  Medium  /  Small  

  

2.Graceful Yakshi (damsel)
Bodhgaya
1st Century B.C
Sand stone
96 x 29.5 x 37.5 cm
Acc No. 46
  

Among the Indian folk arts, the images of Yakshaand Yakshi predominate over other forms. These are classed as theearliest Indian statutory consisting of a group of free standingfigures, installed under a tree or open sky, at times in round,sometimes conceived frontally. They are symbol of power,proclaiming divine character of tutelary type. Some of the Yakshiimages from Bharhut bear label inscriptions like Mahakoka andChulakoka, attributed to 2nd Century B.C.


Almost contemporary to the Bharhut traditions, the Yakshi seen herestanding over a semi circular pedestal against an octagonal pillarof a torana (gateway).   The slight turn in the bodyposture to right indicate the position of pillar at the entrance,fixed on the left side.   Correspondingly, upper portionof her body is leaning towards her left while knee of her left legis slightly bent forward, thereby putting more weight of her bodyon the right leg.  

  Her coiffure is wig-like, elaborate andarranged like a puffed knot.   She is wearing ornamentslike necklace and girdle of three chains around herloins.   Lower garment shows longitudinal folds. Both thehands are missing, yet we may suggest that her left hand was inakimbo as there is mark of detachment over the surface on her uppercorresponding thigh. The elegantly postured anatomy and charmingfacial expression suggest that she was performing her role as anon-participating observer at the entrance.