An unusual iconography of Lord Hanuman. It would be the simple seated figure of a superior yogi, had it not been for the fact that He is sitting on the high coils of His own tail. The foot of the right leg reaches all the way to the bottom-most coil (there are five coils of a long, thick, monkey’s tail); so does the crown of His signature weapon, the bludgeon.
This Hanuman murti is carved from Vengai wood. It is a type of wood that is endemic to South India and is believed to have mystical qualities. It is, after all, an organic medium and quite the challenge to breathe life into. As such, the artisan has poured a great degree of both skill and shraddha into this precisely formed, almost lifelike image of Hanuman.
The natural ochre colour of the wood medium and the fine undulations of its texture add to the beauty of the sculpture. The Lord raises a hand in blessing. From above the swollen jaw emerges an all-knowing gaze. Finally, an ornately engraved crown and halo, half-covering the Vaishnava tilaka on His brow.
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