Yakshi (Female Nature Spirit) with Hands Together in the Honoring Posture
From the railing of a Buddhist stupa

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Uttar Pradesh, Mathura Region, India, Asia

2nd century


16 1/2 × 6 1/4 × 3 1/4 inches (41.9 × 15.9 × 8.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

* Gallery 231, Asian Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased from the Stella Kramrisch Collection with funds contributed by R. Sturgis Ingersoll, Nelson Rockefeller, and other generous donors, the bequest of Sophia Cadwalader, the Popular Subscription Fund, and proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned works of art, 1956

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Yakshis are female nature spirits who embody fertility and prosperity. They are often shown with trees, flowers, and snakes, suggesting a transfer of creative energy between nature and humanity. It is likely that they were worshiped as local goddesses. In early Indian art, images of yakshis frequently adorned railing posts or acted as brackets for railing gateways. This figure is shown with her hands folded in prayer.

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