Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Teeth in Art

Weird & Off Topics Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Buddha: 40 teeth, 4 canine
- Peaceful Teeth
- Semi-Peaceful/Semi-wrathful Teeth
- Wrathful Teeth
- Buddhasurya (Vajrashekhara Tantra)
- Bodhisattva (Sarvadurgati Parishodhana Tantra)
- Dragtsen
- Ekajati (Nyingma)
- Ekajati (Drigung) Example: HAR #413
- Sinpoi Tsowo Jigje Mar (Yutog Nyingtig)
- Others...

Video: Weird Teeth

The iconographic figures of the two female deities Ekajati of the Nyingma tradition and Dragtsen of the Karma Kagyu both have a large single tooth protruding downward from the top center of the mouth.

Buddhasurya, a bodhisattva retinue figure from the Vairochana mandala of the Vajrashekhara Tantra, holds a set of teeth upraised with both hands at the level of the heart. A retinue bodhisattva figure of the Vairochana mandala of the Sarvadurgati Parishodhana Tantra holds a single eye tooth in each hand.

The male protector deity Sinpoi Tsowo Jigje Mar is a retinue figure in the company of Mahakala of the Yutog Nyingtig 'Revealed Treasure' tradition. He has four long eye teeth. 'The upper teeth extend down and press on the nipples of the chest. The lower teeth extend upward to the forehead...' (Yutog Nyingtig).

There are some examples of dance masks portraying wrathful figures known in Tibetan as 'ging' with elongated canine teeth. These figures belong to the sixteen 'ging' that surround the Copper Coloured Palace of Padmasambhava and also appear in 'cham' dances celebrating Guru Rinpoche.

Jeff Watt 3-2021

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).