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Sanchi: North Gate, Relief on pillar (man with bird)

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Sanchi: North Gate, Relief on pillar (man with bird)
Author(s): Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Sanchi;architecture;stone sculpture;mounted transparency set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: The North Gate is the best preserved of all the gateways and has the greatest proportion of sculptural decoration still in good condition, The Yaksha detail in our slide illustrates the growing popuularity of the cult figure as a guardian type as it has been adapted for Buddhist symbolism, It is further enhanced by the fact that it appears at the very gate of the stupa: a very honored position, If we trace the Yaksha's pose back to one of its earlier sources (in slide 11, for example), we see that it has been refined a good deal, but is essentially composed of the same type of movement, One knee is slightly bent, one arm placed akimbo (right or left), while the other arm usually holds a specific object (fly-whisk, flower, tame animal), Here, the Yaksha holds a bird, probably a parrot, Because the deity appears alone, he assumes the role of attendant as well as guardian in accordance with his primacy at the gate itself, However, were he to be shown with a companion Yakshi, he would be interpreted less ceremoniously and would be a heavenly counterpart to common man,
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-303


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