Male Fertility Divinity, Possibly Shiva

Male Fertility Divinity, Possibly Shiva

c. 120-200

Terracotta

Overall: 17.3 cm (6 13/16 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1986.71

Fun Fact

This sculpture was first made from a mold, then subsequently hand modeled.

Description

This figure combines an unusual set of attributes. He has long dreadlocks over his shoulders, like an ascetic, and he holds a water pot, like a Brahmin or naga (serpent deity). Also, he seems to carry a sword and dagger like a warrior and is ithyphallic, indicating his virility and fecundity. He may best be identified as a local divinity worshipped for purposes of increasing fertility, but he could also be recognized as an early form of the Hindu god Shiva.

See also

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