This small halo-like ornament was created to cover the knot that secures a headband
Shiva Nataraja depicts the Hindu god Shiva as "Lord of the Dance," engaged in the dynamic, victorious "dance of bliss" (ananda tandava) he performed after defeating arrogant sages in the Chidambaram forest. In representations of the deity, such as this tenth-century bronze sculpture in the Freer's collection, every feature reveals important details. Click the options below the image to have a closer look, find out more, or see another view of Shiva Nataraja.
The museum will stay open until 7 pm on February 18 and 19. We are excited to reopen the Freer in October 2017, following a renovation to allow us to better present our art and serve our visitors. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.