Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Female Imagery Introduction

Gender & Iconography

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Female Imagery Description (below)
- Female Teachers
- Index of Female Deities
- Androgynous Gods, Gender Reversed Deities
- Female Deities & Protectors (Bon Religion)
- Couples in Art
- Dakini & Daka
- Female Dominant Meditational Deity Couples
- Female Deity Form versus Male Form (peaceful)
- Mountain Goddesses
- Female Buddhist Protector Deities (Worldly)
- Female Buddhas Exhibition (Dallas, Texas)
- Tetrahedron
- Universal Deities
- Worldly Spirits
- Confusions
- Others...

- Video: A Question on Female Representation

From the group of Eleven Figurative Forms in Buddhist art the female form is not represented in the sections of Buddha, Arhat, King or Warrior (drala), but can be found in the other seven categories of Monastic Appearance, Lay Figure Appearance, Siddha Appearance, Peaceful Appearance, Semi-peaceful/Semi-wrathful Appearance, Wrathful Appearance and Animal Headed Gods & Deities.

Eleven Classes of Figurative Forms in Tibetan Art:
(1) Buddha Appearance: X
(2) Arhat Appearance: X
(3) King Appearance: X
(4) Monastic Appearance: Bhikshuni Shri, Sakya Jetsunma.
(5) Lay Figure Appearance: Mandarava, Yeshe Tsogyal, Sukhasiddhi, etc.
(6) Siddha Appearance
(7) Peaceful/Deva/Bodhisattva Appearance: Tara, etc.
(8) Semi-peaceful/Semi-wrathful Appearance: Sitatapatra, Vajra Yogini, Nairatmya, etc.
(9) Wrathful Appearance: Krodha Kali, Shri Devi, etc.
(10) Animal Headed Gods & Deities: Janguli, Kinnara, Marichi, Simhamukha, Vajra Varahi, miscellaneous secondary figures.
(11) Warrior (Drala) Appearance: X

Universal Deities:
- Durga
- Ekajati
- Marichi
- Sitatapatra
- Others...

Mountain Goddesses:
- Dorje Yudronma (Mountain Goddess)
- Nyen Cham Karmo, Yulri (Mountain Goddess, Gyalrong, East Tibet)
- Tseringma & Sisters (Mountain Goddess)
- Twelve Goddesses of Tibet (Mountain Goddesses)
- Others...

Jeff Watt [updated 12-2015, 11-2019]

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