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Durga Killing the Buffalo Titan, 10th-11th century

Indonesia: Central Java, 900-1099
Andesite
24 x 11-1/2 x 7-3/4 in. (61.0 x 29.2 x 19.7 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Pratap and Chitra Pal in memory of their mothers
P.1997.3
© 2012 Norton Simon Museum

On view

Unable to destroy the fierce demon Mahisha, who takes the form of a buffalo, the Hindu gods created Durga to be their champion and gave her their weapons. This sculpture depicts the goddess in the moment of victory, having just slain the buffalo. Mahisha rises from the beast’s body, revealing himself to be a repugnant dwarfed figure. Images of Durga from Java typically depict her in this triumphal moment, whereas those from India often portray the goddess in the act of slaying the buffalo demon.

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