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Monumental Nāginīs from Mathura

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses a set of life-size Snakes Goddesses (Nāginīs). They were probably made in Mathura and shipped, for worship, to Nandan, U.P. These Nāginīs open a new subject category in early Indian art because they are: 1) a lifesize 2) group of 3) goddesses not originating from the sphere of Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism, and 4) dating to the 1st century A.D. The chapter further gives a detailed descriptions of the Nāginīs physical properties, including their place of discovery and point of dispersal. The Tokyo Nāginīs stone, posture, and dress resemble that of the KC Nāginīs. The supposition is that the ND Nagini is not very much taller than the KC Nāginīs. The stylistic analysis is undertaken to determine the date and provenance of the Nāginīs statues. Although Snake Goddesses are folk deities, indications are that the Nāginīs were worshipped, at Nandan, as major deities, not as minor godlings.

Keywords: KC Nāginīs; Mathurā; ND Nāginīs; stylistic analysis; Tokyo Nāginīs;



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