Yaksa and the Legs of a Lokapala

  • Excavated from the area beneath the Huoshaodong Cave
  • Tang dynasty
  • Limestone
  • H-41.6
    Longmen Caves Research Institute
Catalogue Entry

Limestone/ Excavated from the area beneath the Huoshaodong Cave,
Tang dynasty/ H. 41.6 cm/ Longmen Caves Research Institute
This sculpture was excavated from the area beneath the Huoshaodong Cave in 1988. The yaksa, or female demon, has her left knee raised and right hand raised to support the Lokapala. The eyes of the yaksa are fearsome, the mouth is pursed, and the tensed jaw swells to almost completely mask the figure's neck. The realistic depiction of the musculature in the raised right hand, standing left leg, shoulders and chest convey the sense of the strain involved in supporting the body of the Lokapala. Only part of the image of the Lokapala remains. The booted feet, legs bound in leggings and the ends of a garment fluttering beneath armor all show a balanced, gallant pose. The yaksa's hair swirls up into a conical form between the Lokapala's legs. The same hairstyle can be seen on the Lokapala figure on the west wall in the niche at the east end of the south wall of Fengxiansidong Cave. Thus this work is thought to have been created around the end of the 7th or the beginning of the 8th century.