Outward Signs, Inner Perfection

No matter when or where an image of the Buddha was made, notable markers of his identity remain the same. These characteristics, which include the cranial bump or hair bun (ushnisha) and the dot between his eyes (urna), are outward signs of his inner perfection. His long earlobes, stretched by the heavy earrings he wore as a prince, remind us that he renounced all worldly attachments.

Indonesia, Java, ca. 800
Transfer from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; Freer Gallery of Art F1978.35