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Shiva Nataraja: Back

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This small halo-like ornament was created to cover the knot that secures a headband
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Shiva Nataraja

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.

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Please note: The Freer Gallery of Art will be closed to the public from January 2016 until summer 2017. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Library, and Archives will remain open for the duration of the renovation. Learn more »