Chamunda (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

10th century
greenish-gray schist with slight traces of pigment
Dungarpur region, Rajasthan, India
Overall: 23 3/4 × 14 3/8 × 4 1/2 in. (60.33 × 36.51 × 11.43 cm)
The Hindu goddess Chamunda is a particularly grizzly and loathsome form of Devi. A manifestation of the Great Goddess's wrath, she was conceived in order to defeat a pair of evil demons. Emaciated and fanged, she tramples one of them underfoot. Inher lower right hand, she carries the other's head, severed with the dagger clutched in her upper right hand. Around her shoulders is a long garland of human heads, and in the crooks of her arms are a skull-topped staff and Shiva's fearsome trident. Her lower left hand cradles a blood-filled cup made from a skull, while another skullcap and severed arms adorn her headdress. Though her form is terrifying, this skeletal goddess's wrath is directed against wickedness, and she serves the benevolent purpose of ridding the world of evil.
Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation and the Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 49, p. 150)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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