Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - Panjaranata - Retinue Figure

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 74311)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Size 40.60cm (15.98in) high
Material Clay
Collection The British Museum
Catalogue # 1948.7-16.24, H.G. Beasley Bequest
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Appearance: Wrathful

Gender: Both

Interpretation / Description

Singmo (Tibetan: sing mo): a wrathful femal protector belonging to the group known as Putra Mising Nga, the five outer retinue figures of Panjarnata Mahakala of the Sakya Tradition. The first two of the five are a couple, Nagpo Nujin and Nagmo Nujin (Black Rakshasa and Black Rakshasi), followed by their three children, two sons, Putra and Batra followed by a daughter, Singmo.

The special iconographic features for Singmo are a daemon (rakshasa) appearance, gold razor held upraised in the right hand, a skullcup in the left, wearing black garments and breathing flames from the mouth. She is sometimes depicted holding intestines in the left hand.

Separate from a red tongue clearly visible when observing the actual sculpture, a wire can be seen extending from the mouth. This wire is the support for the wood or papier mache flames which are now missing.

Jeff Watt 1-2004

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Mahakala: Panjarnata, Lord of the Pavilion (Main Page)
Buddhist Protector: Putra Mising Nga (Five Activity Protectors)
Collection of The British Museum (Sculpture)