The main figure's posture and gesture are used in representations of the two most important goddesses in Buddhism, Tara and Prajnaparamita. Their attributes help to distinguish them. Prajnaparamita holds a pundarika lotus upon which sits a book, while Tara holds the blue lotus. Unfortunately only fragments remain of the two lotuses once found to either side of this sculpture. However, since several similar metal sculptures are identified as Tara, who is much more commonly represented in the art of Tibet, this statue has also been identified as an image of that goddess.
This sculpture is made of an ivory-toned stone known as pyrophyllite. Stone sculptures are rare in Tibet, however, a few other examples made of an ivorylike stone are known. These stone sculptures are quite small, and their scale and rarity suggest that they may have had a specific ritual or religious function. As is common in Tibet, the hair of this goddess was painted blue. In addition, the entire figure (but not the base) is gilt; some scholars have suggested that this may be a later addition.