Height: 65.000 cm
Width: 46.000 cm
Gift of Louis C.G. Clarke
Asia OA 1961.10-14.05
Embroidered tangka of the dharmapala Yama
From Tibet or southern
18th century AD
The guardian of Buddhism
The fierce and bull-headed Yama stands on his buffalo mount, which tramples on a corpse. He is surrounded by flickering flames against a black background. He holds a noose and skull-crested club, with a string of severed heads hanging from his waist. Yama is the Indian god of death, who in Tibetan Buddhism was conquered by Manjushri and made a protector of the Buddhist dharma ('teachings'). Mahakala is another of the Tibetan protector deities or dharmapalas.
cloth-hangings are usually paintings. At festival times huge
appliqué textiles of
A Tibeto-Chinese style of art emerged in the early fifteenth century and again in the eighteenth century. In the latter period large numbers of objects were produced in China in the Tibetan manner, including whole temples, statues, paintings and embroideries such as this one.
W. Zwalf, Heritage of Tibet (London, The British Museum Press, 1981)
M.M. Rhie and R.A.F. Thurman, Wisdom and compassion: the sac (London, Thames and Hudson, 1996)
R. Fisher, Art of Tibet (Thames and Hudson, 1997)