Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Mahakala (Buddhist Protector)

མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ། 玛哈嘎拉
(item no. 90127)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 - 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Material Wood
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Mahakala (Tibetan: nag po chen po. English: Great Black One), painted on a framed wooden panel.

The wrathful face is blue in colour with three round eyes, a gaping mouth, bared white fangs and orange flame-like hair flowing upward and decorated with a five skull headdress.

At the bottom center is a large skullcup filled symbolically with the five types of meat: elephant, human, horse, cow and dog, offered up to the face of Mahakala. At the sides are skullcups filled with nectar (left) and blood (right).

Jeff Watt 10-2001

(From the collection of Amanda Joy Rubin)

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