Lord of the Faith-Guarding Deities (Mahakala)

Lord of the Faith-Guarding Deities (Mahakala)

18th century
Country
Tibet
figure
brass
Walter C. Mead Collection
1933.14
. Lord of the Faith-Guarding Deities (Mahakala). 18th century. brass. Walter C. Mead Collection. 1933.14.
Dimensions
height: 14 in, 35.5600 cm; width: 4.875 in, 12.3825 cm; depth: 12.25 in, 31.1150 cm
Department
Asian
Collection
Asian

Lord of the Faith-Guarding Deities (Mahakala)
Tibet
1700s
Brass
Walter C. Mead Collection
1933.14

Mahakala, the Great Black One, is the most popular of the protectors of Tibetan Buddhism, and is often found at the inner entrance of a temple or at his own special shrine.  Here he appears in his six-armed manifestation, clothed in an elephant hide and a tiger pelt, trampling the prone elephant-headed figure of Ganesha.  His fierce countenance is reinforced by his flame-like hair, a crown and a garland of skulls, and the vajra chopper and skull cup that he holds in his middle hands.  Traces remain of a red pigment that once highlighted these features.