Palden Lhamo

DATE:
18th–19th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Gilt bronze
CLASSIFICATION:
Sculpture
DIMENSIONS:
18 1/2 × 12 1/4 × 7 in. (46.99 × 31.12 × 17.78 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of Asia
LOCATION:
305 BUDDHIST GALLERY
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alconda-Owsley Foundation
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1997.157

General Description

The snarling and fanged mouth, crown of skulls, garland of decapitated heads, and cape of flayed human skin identify this figure as Lhamo, the Himalayan Buddhist form of the Hindu death goddess Kali. Lhamo is the most extreme of the eight dharmapalas, violent demons who were tamed by Buddhist sages and became the protectors of the Buddhist scriptures. The savage goddess rides her mule through a sea of blood, accompanied by two demons. This horrific concept is typical subject matter in Tantric Buddhist art, which explores extremes of human experience in the search for enlightenment.

Excerpt from

Anne Bromberg, Label text, 2003.

Related Multimedia

Anne Bromberg describes objects in the DMA collection of Tibetan objects, including Lhamo, 1997.157

Web Resources