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Inscribed Yaksha, found at Parkham, Mathura, about 3rd Century B.C. Mathura, Curzon Museum,

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Inscribed Yaksha, found at Parkham, Mathura, about 3rd Century B.C. Mathura, Curzon Museum,
Author(s): Photographer: Basham, Arthur Llewellyn
Keywords: Mauryan Period: Ancient India
stone sculpture
mounted transparency set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: Though Maurya art under Asoka is particularly noted for its architectural achievements, other types of art are equally worthy of note, In this context we find the cult images of male and female deities (Yakshas and Yakshis), which were the folk art creations soon to be incorporated into the rising Buddhist religious images, At this stage of Mauryan history, the Yakshas and Yakshis were still fairly separate from strictly Buddhist imagery, The Yaksha in our slide was originally erected in a village at Parkham, and its inscription tells a story of local color: An imperial gate-keper born in the settlement had died and was born again in the realm of demons, Wishing to spare his fellow villagers from the harm he himself might bring them, the demon communicated to them that they should carve a Yaksha (earth guardian), set it where his house once stood, and hang a bell around its neck to ward off evil, This was done and the statue, one of the earliest cult-figures of monumental size, was part of the village for many centuries, Today we can admire the personal taste with which this Yaksha was created, It reflects the early trends of art under Asoka aside from that produced in the imperial workshops and has traces of Persian influence,
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-179


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