Hanuman

Hanuman, 19th century
Sculptor unattributed
Stone
:T3.11.2006.2
© Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

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Hanuman, 19th century

An Indian carved relief sculpture of the Hindu deity Hanuman. He is a Hindu god and a divine vanara (monkey or ape) companion of the god Rama. He is holding a gada (mace) in his raised right hand and the object he is holding in his left hand may represent the scene from the Ramayana epic when Hanuman flew to a Himalayan mountain to fetch a healing herb for Rama’s brother Lakshmana, who had been dangerously injured. Uncertain which herb to bring, he returned with the whole mountain top. The tilaka mark on his forehead shows his devotion to Vishnu, of whom Rama is an incarnation. The identity of the figure that Hanuman is trampling under foot is currently unclear but is possibly an enemy.

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