Description "Yakshis" (goddesses) and their male counterparts, "yakshas," are an ancient type of divinity in South Asia with close connections to nature. Ancient communities looked to "yakshis" and "yakshas" as protectors of the earth’s bounty. These nature-spirit deities were later adopted into the religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. This goddess, festooned with necklaces, armlets, and bracelets, and holding a ripe fruit, would have been an object of worship, possibly at an outdoor shrine associated with a sacred tree or another feature in the landscape. The fruit, together with the goddess’s voluptuous breasts and thighs, signals the "yakshi’s" association with fertility.
- Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. 2001-2003.
Provenance Doris Wiener, New York; purchased by John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, 1969; given to Walters Art Museum, 2003.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2003
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