Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Sitatapatra (Two Hands)

Sitatapatra Iconography

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- Sitatapatra Description (below)
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- Confusions: gender identity with Chinese sculpture
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One Face, Two Arms:
"...atop a lotus, moon and sun seat is Sitatapatra with one face and two arms. The right hand holds a wheel and the left a white parasol; seated with the legs in vajra posture, adorned with silks and jewel ornaments, having a slightly peaceful and fierce expression." [bod brgyud nang bstan lha tshogs chen mo bzhugs so. Page 709].

Sitatapatra with one face and two hands is the simplest form of the female deity. Her special features are a third eye on the forehead, the right hand in a gesture of protection, and the left holding a white parasol. Gender identity can be a problem for identification during certain periods of production for some Chinese production. The convention of an oval shaped face for females and a horizontal hair line for male figures is not always followed. The torso and chest of male and female figures can be without differentiation, meaning a lack of pronounced breasts. See examples HAR #16829, 33021, and #94866

Jeff Watt 7-2020

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