The Goddess Chandi
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
Chandi is a local goddess with ancient roots and a strong following in Bengal. Her elaborate story is told in the narrative compilation known as the Mangalkavya, which also tells of the goddess Manasa. She is often represented seated upon a lotus with an elephant, an image that overlaps with depictions of the more widely venerated goddess Parvati holding her elephant-headed son Ganesha. Merging aspects of Chandi's identity with other goddesses may have been part of a strategy to built legitimacy for this regional deity by associating her with the larger pan-Indic pantheon.