figurine, india, brass, moesgaard museum, de etnografiske samlinger, ethnography, collections, museum, aarhus, denmark

God Idol – Nepal

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Almost resembling some kind of fable animal, this statue wasn’t actually meant to look as scary as it does! The lack of a clear and visible face is the result of years of wear and tear by physical contact with people’s hands. Originally, the statue was a God idol with marked features.

Metal statue artwork is considered one of the most advanced and appreciated forms of handcraft in Nepal, and the practice has been dated all the way back to the seventh century AD.

This one was collected by Werner Jacobsen, who in total brought back over 2.000 Asian items to The Danish National Museum during his years in Mongolia, India and Nepal. The following is his description of the God idol:

This small statue portrays a standing God with four arms. The right leg rests on the body of an animal, which is extended into a human-like figure whose hair, in turn, is held by the main figure with his hans on the lower part of the left arms.

The material is light bronze, almost without patina, but marked by wear and tear, especially in the facial area.

If you are into Nepalese artefacts, read about the practice of drinking wine from human skulls (!) here.

// Ciara Coogan



Photo: © 2014 Jacob Due, Photo/Media Department of Moesgaard Museum.

Byline portrait: © 2015 Line Beck,

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