Female Attendant or Attending Yakshi (Female Nature Deity)
Fragment of a Railing Pillar

Artist/maker unknown, India

Geography:
Made in Uttar Pradesh, Mathura Region, India, Asia

Date:
c. 2nd century BCE

Medium:
Sandstone

Dimensions:
11 5/16 x 6 5/16 x 3 inches (28.7 x 16 x 7.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Indian and Himalayan Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 230, Asian Art, second floor

Accession Number:
1956-75-2

Credit Line:
Purchased with funds contributed by Miss Anna Warren Ingersoll, Nelson Rockefeller, R. Sturgis Ingersoll, Mrs. Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee, Dr. I. S. Ravdin, Mrs. Stella Elkins Tyler, Louis E. Stern, Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Levy, Mrs. Flagler Harris, and with funds from the bequest of Sophia Cadwalader, funds from the proceeds of the sale of deaccessioned works of art, the George W.B. Taylor Fund, the John T. Morris Fund, the John H. McFadden, Jr., Fund, the Popular Subscription Fund, and the Lisa Norris Elkins Fund from the Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1956

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Label:
Yakshis are female nature spirits who embody fertility and prosperity. They are often shown with trees, flowers, and snakes, suggesting a transfer of creative energy between nature and humanity. It is likely that they were worshiped as local goddesses. In early Indian art, images of yakshis frequently adorned railing posts or acted as brackets for railing gateways. This figure is shown with her hands folded in prayer.


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