Art of the Ancient World, C. 5000 B.c.e.–400 C.E.

Art of India and Southeast Asia

What is a yakshi?

A yakshi, an erotic goddess figure worshipped throughout India, represents fertility and vegetation. These sensual figures are used to decorate the exterior of the Great Stupa in Sanchi, India. The yakshi from Sanchi are partially clothed and are depicted holding onto mango tree branches, encouraging them to bloom. The curving poses of the yakshi were later adopted by Buddhist artists in their depictions of Buddha’s mother giving birth.


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