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This beautifully compact cast and chiselled bronze rendering of an eight-armed Durga shows the goddess slaying the buffalo-demon Mahishasura.
The moment of decapitation is captured in this image. Usually, one of Durga feet rests on the buffalo in such images, but here Durga stands balanced with both feet on top of the buffalo. Durga is shown pulling the demon by its hair from the wound in the buffalo’s neck. Durga holds attributes in her other hands. These include a sword, a noose and a conch shell.
Durga wears a a high crown that is almost flaming in its conception, and a complex, striped dhoti about the waist, as well as ample jewellery.
The group stands on a low, rectangular platform.
Goddess worship harks back to the earliest era of Hinduism, and Durga, is a manifestation of Devi, the great goddess, though the popularity of goddess worship declined in many areas from around the 17th century onwards when it was supplanted by Vaishnavism with is increasingly popular male deities of Rama and especially Krishna.
The image has good wear associated with ritual puja use, and a lovely colour and patina.
Mitchell, A.G., Hindu Gods and Goddesses, UBSPD, 1982.