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Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Dates/Places: India
Creator Active Place: India
Creator Name-CRT: India, Gandhara, Sirkap, Kushan Period
Title: Pendant with Hariti
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 80
Creation End Date: 219
Creation Date: c. 2nd Century
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Classification Term: Jewelry
Materials and Techniques: gold repoussé and carnelian
Dimensions: Diameter: 5cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1953.14
Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
Context: This gold pendant is decorated in deep repoussý with the bust of the Buddhist goddess Hariti, in earlier folk tradition an ogress who stole and devoured infants (thus, her name, Hariti, which means "the one who steals"). Converted by Buddha, she became a patroness of children, sheltering them from danger, disease, and other misfortunes. Her cult, along with that of her husband, Pancika, the god of riches, became very popular in Gandhara. Here Hariti holds in her right hand an open lotus, while in her left she carries a cornucopia, the lower part of which is a lotus supporting a cup filled with various fruits, including pomegranates. According to legend, when Buddha converted Hariti from devouring children to protecting them, he fed her pomegranates at first since the fruit is said to resemble human flesh. The cornucopia, however, is the attribute of prosperity and wealth, of which Pancika is the patron; the goddess is frequently shown bearing his emblem. On her head Hariti has a small diadem (polos) of the type often worn by classical deities; around her neck, she wears a single necklace. Although her features have been worn down, she seems to be smiling. She wears a short Hellenistic chiton with a belt and frilly hem. The outer perimeter of the medallion is decorated with a band of thinly sliced carnelian (cut in small sections held in place by a rim and a floral-shaped bezel) and a groove intended to hold pearls, which have long been lost. At the very top of the medallion is a floral bow, also once decorated with precious stones or pearls. The reverse of the medallion, incised with a fully open lotus, has four small loops by which the pendant must have been suspended; it could have been used with a type of chain necklace known as channavia, which crosses over the chest with the medallion holding the crossed chains. It also could have been fastened to a textile through the loops in a manner similar to that of a fibula. An almost identical pendant with carnelian and seed pearls, some of which still remain, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The attributes held by the goddess are reversed, however, and the Cleveland medallion is half a centimeter larger. While precious jewelry was in great demand during the Gandhara period, and while a variety of ornaments were in use, as indicated by jewelry shown in stone sculptures, not many objects have survived. The Cleveland Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum pendants are among the few extant examples. S.C.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1953.14
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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