Kinnari

Kinnari

Kinnara and Kinnari are half-human-half-bird mythical creatures. They are often portrayed in Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and paintings. Kinnaris and Kinnaras areKinnari Right portrayed happy, singing and playing musical instruments.

Here it appears to be a case of half-deity-half-bird rather than half-human-half-bird. Referring the bronze as Kinnari for lack of appropriate word.

Torso and above, the figure is Lakshmi. Her wearing breast bands, lotus buds in her upper hands and lower hands in Abhaya and Varada mudra lead to that attribution. Rest of the bronze has bird’s features. Kinnari left

It is a well designed and beautifully crafted piece. Note the sense of proportion, the elegance of Lakshmi, perforated tail portion, the patterns on the wings and detailed incision throughout.

The bronze is about 11 cm in height. It is from North Karnataka (the alloy used and tall crown). This probably dates to the nineteenth century.

Not aware of the purpose of this portrayal or where it was used. There is a possibility this bronze was made for decorative purposes only, in that case, the goal is met.

30 June 2019: Swarna, one of the enthusiasts and a fellow FBers, Kuthu Vilakusuggested this could be from a standing lamp, Kuthu Vilaku. It is spot on. An example, see the top portion, picked from Sean Anderson’s book on Flames of Devotion Oil Lamps from South and Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. The cited book documents Dr Pratapaditya Pal’s donation to UCLA.  It is truly a Deepalakshmi. Thanks, Swarna.

 

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