Kurukulla (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

13th–16th century
copper alloy, silver, paint
Western or Central Tibet
Overall: 7 × 5 1/2 × 2 in. (17.78 × 13.97 × 5.08 cm)
The wrathful goddess Kurukulla embodies the subjugation of all passions. With her upper hands, she pulls a bow—its string now missing—with which she destroys ignorance. Her lower hands wield an elephant goad, skullcap, and noose. A large lug on her back indicates that she was once affixed to a larger composition. Shown dancing energetically, she would have trampled underfoot a figure representing passion and desire. The high copper content of her sold-cast body is appropriate to her customary red complexion. Similarly, her bone ornaments are evocatively rendered in silver. As was customary in Tibet, her face and hair are painted.
Berthe and John Ford Collection, Kathleen Boone Samuels Memorial Fund
“Mystic Visions: The Virginia Museum’s Collection of Nepalese and Tibetan Art,” VMFA, July 6-December 27, 1992
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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