India, Mathura, Kushan Period (1st century-320) / Head of Bodhisattva / late 1st - early 2nd centuryIndia, Mathura, Kushan Period (1st century-320)
Head of Bodhisattva
late 1st - early 2nd century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian; Malthura
Creator Name-CRT: India, Mathura, Kushan Period (1st century-320)
Title: Head of Bodhisattva
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 50
Creation End Date: 149
Creation Date: late 1st - early 2nd century
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Sculpture-stone
Materials and Techniques: Red sandstone
Dimensions: Overall: 50.8cm x 25.4cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1984.220
Credit Line: Gift of Robert H. Ellsworth in memory of Christian Human
Style or Period: Kushan Period (1st century-320)

This monumental male head must have originally belonged to a larger-than-life Bodhisattva image.

The imposing turban, which it features, comprises part of the costume of Kusana nobility; it has a large round cocade in the center. The long piece of cloth used to make the turban was wound in such a way that the end of it formed a cockade, frequently decorated in the center with an acorn-shaped ornament, a jewel, or a roundel depicting the deity worshipped by the wearer. This elaborate arrangement was known as a maulimani ornament. Since the way of tying such a turban must have been extremely complicated, one may speculate that in most cases they were ready made. The metal clasps, such as the one in front, below the cockade, helped to hold them together, enabling them to be worn like a crown. That the turban was an important part of the nobleman's attire is proven by the great variety of types in existence.

The presence of a turban is a distinguishing mark between Bodhissatva and Buddha images---in the depiction of the Master before and after enlightenment, as Prince Siddhartha versus Buddha. This is confirmed by images where the cudamaha (discarded hair-turban) rests on the ground between the legs of the image to signify that the transformation from Bodhisattva to Buddha has taken place.

The round, fleshy face, heightened by a subtle smile, retains the powerful quality of early Kusana images, allowing it to be placed in the 1st half of the first Kaniska era, aound the late 1st to early 2nd Century

AMICA ID: CMA_.1984.220
AMICA Library Year: 2001
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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