Title:Yogini holding a jarArtist:Artist UnknownDate:Chola period, 850-1287Creation Place:Asia, India, Tamil Nadu, KanchipuramCredit Line:The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial FundAccession Number:60.21
The development of the Hindu cult of the Goddess or Shakti, was contemporary with that of Shiva. The legend that explains the seven mother goddesses (Matrikas) portrays them as helpers in the fight of the great goddess, Durga, against the demons who threaten the peace of the universe. Each of the goddesses is characterized by the respective ornaments, weapons or specific animal mount of the deity. The lightly incised swan in the base of this statue, for instance, probably indicates that this is the goddess Brahmani, female counterpart of the god Brahma whose energy she represents. Typical of South Indian sculpting under the Cholas (850-1310), this figure has been carved from granite as an attractive example of an idealized female form. The voluptuous deity was worshipped for her promise of fertility and regeneration.