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Shiva with Uma and Bull, 10th-11th century

Vietnam: ancient Champa kingdom, 900-1099
24-1/4 x 18 x 7 in. (61.6 x 45.7 x 17.8 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Champa was an ancient kingdom located in what is now Vietnam. The Cham people practiced both Hinduism and Buddhism. This sculpture represents Shiva with his bull mount, Nandi, and his wife Uma—all of whom are important deities in the Hindu pantheon. An interesting feature is the bell-shaped canopy behind the figures. This likely represents a linga, a phallic emblem associated with Shiva that symbolizes his cosmic energy. An example of a freestanding linga is exhibited across the gallery from this sculpture.

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