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Antefix with Five-headed Serpent

Antefix with Five-headed Serpent, c. 1100

Thailand, Buri Ram or Surin, 1075-1125
overall: 42-1/2 x 21-1/2 x 21 in. (108 x 54.6 x 53.3 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Symbols of abundance and fertility, multi-headed rearing serpents (nagas) are common decorative motifs found on both Hindu and Buddhist temples in mainland Southeast Asia. The central serpent of this antefix holds a garland of jewels in its mouth as both an offering to the icon housed within and as a reminder of the merit one can achieve through worship at the temple. This type of inward-leaning antefix was introduced to Khmer temples around 1100.

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