Danteshwari on an Elephant

Historical period(s)
19th-20th century
H x W x D (assembled): 43.3 x 11.9 x 25.5 cm (17 1/16 x 4 11/16 x 10 1/16 in)
India, Chhattisgarh state, Bastar district
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Sculpture


casting, Danteshwari, elephant, howdah, India, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

The goddess Danteshwari, often depicted riding an elephant, is worshiped in shrines thoughout Bastar District in Madhya Pradesh. A common form of the Mother Goddess, Danteshwari is also the primary deity of the royal house of Bastar. During the annual festival of Dussehra, thousands of people flock to the capital city of Jagdalur to pay their respects to the goddess. A bronze image of Danteshwari is placed on the back of an elephant and carried in procession throughout the streets. It is accompanied by other bronze images of Danteshwari that have been brought to the city from reigional shrines. Sculptors may have begun protraying Danteshwari seated on an elephant after seeing images of the goddess carried by elephants in this type of procession.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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