Tara, Goddess of Compassion
Artist/maker unknown, Mongolian
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Perhaps the largest statue from Dolonnor, Inner Mongolia in any American collection, this impressive image of White Tara, the Goddess of Compassion, was also among the first Tibetan-Buddhist objects to enter the Museum's collection. Eyes on Tara's forehead and in the palms of her hands and feet symbolize her ability to see everywhere and help all her devotees. Remnants of stems are visible at her elbows, indicating lotus flowers that once accompanied this piece. Originally she would also have worn earrings and a crown, each piece having been separately crafted and put on the sculpture as on a human body. Painted depictions of White Tara give an idea of how this image was once ornamented.
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