Figure of the Goddess Lhamo



Figure of the Goddess Lhamo




15th Century


Central Tibet, Densatil Buddhist Monastery


Gilt copper alloy, semiprecious stones
20 1/16 x 16 9/16 in. (51 x 42 cm)

Object Number



Beginning in the 13th Century, the Tibetan monastery of Densatil erected stupas embellished with numerous deities, including the four Shri Devis, one of whose name "Srungs ma chen mo Dpal ldan ma Dbu bcu bdun ma" in Tibetan or "Mahapala Srimati Saptadasasirsi" in Sanskrit, iterally means "The Seventeen Heads Female."
Saptadasasirsi Shridevi is surrounded by a group of sixteen small deities in two groups: the four Bse'i lha mo sisters and twelve Brtan ma. Four of the deities ride mules or horses, one rides a bird, and the remainder sit cross-legged on the ground. The heads of these deities also would have originally appeared on a separately cast element on top of the principal figure's head but are now believed to be lost.

Saptadasasirsi Shridevi would also originally have been accompanied by her female attendant, appearing as a separate three-dimensional statue.  

Credit Line

Ester R. Portnow Collection of Asian Art, a gift of the Nathan Rubin-Ida Ladd Family Foundation in honor of Anthony G. Hirschel


MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2004 - December 2013|
Golden Visions of Densatil: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Asia Society Museum, New York, February 19 - May 18, 2014|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, October 27, 2014 - Present
"Fragments of a Monastery, Reunited in Body and Spirit. 'Golden Visions of Densatil' Opens at Asia Society," The New York Times, February 20, 2014.|
Olaf Czaja and Adriana Proser, Golden Visions of Densatil: a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery (New York: Asia Society Museum, 2014), 100-01, catalogue 14.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2007.
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“Figure of the Goddess Lhamo,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 18, 2020,

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