Mardhini (Repousse Nepal)

Mardhini Nepal Repousse

Standing on her vahana, a lion, and on Buffalo, a shape the demon Mahisha took, the Goddess Mahsishashuramardhini is graceful, nonchalant and serene.

There is no indication of the event that took place earlier the decapitation of the buffalo’s head, now lying between lion and Mahisha.  Or the drama that is about to take place as she yanks Mahisha from the buffalo’s body to kill him. The act is captured by the aggression of her vahana, her raised the right upper hand with a drawn sword, her lower left hand yanking Mahisha and Mahisha getting ready to pull his sword/dagger.

Mardhini is shown with eighteen hands and each hand with different attributes and not all of them are discernible. Her ornamentation is complete and she is wearing a garland made of skulls. (Enlarge the image by selecting and clicking again to look at the details. You are in for a visual treat. See the pattern buffalo’s body, the ‘face’ on the skulls and her lower garment)

The lotus base, the prabhavali with flames, the crown, lion’s form and the quality of repousse work suggest this is from Nepal. It is made of copper.

Worshipping of  Mardhini in this form of Mardhini is popular in Nepal and I have seen several examples including wooden and stone sculptures.

The ‘bronze’ is about 15 cm in height, without the stand. This may have been part of a Torana and may date to the eighteenth century or earlier.

 

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