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33 Dynasties

Relief Carving Of A Scene From The Ramayana
Champa (Central Vietnam)
10th � 12th Centuries
24 1/4� x 15� x 8� (61.4 x 38.1 x 20.2 cms.)

Relief Carving

The Cham people, believed to have been of Indonesian origin, settled in Central Vietnam in the 2nd century AD. The Indianized kingdom that they established known as Champa was a great power in its day, rivaling the Khmers, their neighbor to the west. They built great temples and created a great and unique art. In the early 19th century they were finally completely extinguished by the expanding Dai Viets with whom they had been fighting unsuccessfully on and off for centuries. Some people of Cham ethnic descent still live in the Mekong delta region of Vietnam and Cambodia and along the coast of Central Vietnam. Because of their troubled history good quality Cham pieces are not common. Outside of France there are few in Western collections. 

This piece is an architectural fragment that was probably originally part of a Hindu temple. It was found in Binh Dinh Province in Central Vietnam. The engaging scene carved in relief depicts a human figure (probably Lord Krishna) riding on a Singha, a mythological lion. We can see the lower parts of smaller figures dancing on the Singha�s head and in the lower right hand corner. Please see the web site for other top quality, rare Cham pieces.

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