Seated Eight-Armed Durga
Image of Durga, 1000s–1100s. Central India. Sandstone; 19 3/8 x 14 3/4 x 8 in.
Denver Art Museum: Anonymous gift, 1983.266
The goddess Durga was created by Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu to destroy the buffalo demon Mahisha, whom they could not defeat. In her eight arms she holds weapons associated with the gods who created her. Eventually, Durga became a prominent goddess with entire temples dedicated to her. She remains very popular today in Bengal (India), Nepal, and Bangladesh. Every fall during the Durga Puja festival, thousands of plaster Durga images are made for commercial and household shrines. When the celebration is over, the images are reverently taken to the nearest river and submerged.