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Naga Kanya
Shrivijaya Kingdom
12th - 13th century
5 3/4" high (14.5 cm.)


This engaging figure has a human torso, a snake body and wings like and angle. It is a representation of Naga Kanya. The Nagas are serpents who in south and Southeast Asian mythology are considered to be rain givers and guardians of the water and the riches of the deep. Naga Kanya is the daughter of the nagas She is a goddess of the three realms and pours her blessings of water on the worlds of the spirits, animals and humans.

Though originally a Hindu god the figure of the Naga Kanya was appropriated by Vajrayana Buddhism, Images of Naga Kanya appear in Tibetan, Nepalese and other tantric Buddhist art.

This figure was found underground in peninsular Thailand From the 8th to the 13th peninsular Thailand as well as Sumatra, Java and the lower Malay peninsular were part of the Srivijaya Kingdom. The Srivijaya Kingdom was a center of Vajrayana Buddhism and their religious art reached a high degree of refinement especially in the area of bronze casting. This figure dates from the 12th ?13th century when the Khmer
Empire extended into central Thailand and when Khmer art exerted an influence on the Srivijaya artists.

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