Dancing Krishna (Odisha)

Dancing Krishna is one of the popular forms of Krishna. In this case, Krishna is identified by the ball of butter in his right hand, his pinched hair-do and his nakedness.

As is the case, despite the naked depiction his ornamentation is complete. Two earrings, two necklaces (one of them has a tiger claw as the pendant), arm bands, wrist bands, a waist belt with bells and anklets. His left hand appears to be holding an upturned cup and do not know its significance.

His back is worked on and it is as elegant as the front. See the side view for the hollow portion of the earrings. Good craftsmanship.

Chubby but athletic, naked but decorated and a child with an adult face. Well, that is him.

This Vigraha is from Odisha and may be dated prior to the nineteenth century. It is about 8.5 cm in height. The Los Angeles County Museum has a similar, but larger, dancing Krishna. It is dated to the seventeenth century.

As I was researching this Vigraha I realized other collectors have similar Vigrahas. Three of them (The first one from Inder and the next two from Jainam ) are shown below along with the subject of this blog.

In a way it was reassuring to note though the forms are the same, there are enough differences between them to rule out the possibility of sand-casting. The differences include the hair bun, the length/design of the earrings, waist belt beads, and Padmapeetha details. The heights differ as well…8.5 cm, 10 cm, 14 cm and 8.5 cm respectively.

The similarities show the strength of the tradition (Dhyana Slokha) and/or they could be from the same workshop/location.

Thanks to Inder and Jainam for allowing me to use the images.


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