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In the context of a royal temple, this tenth-century yogini’s sword, shield, and war-cry whistle would have resonated as martial and protective emblems.

Yoga: The Art of Transformation


Between the seventh and twelfth centuries, the term “yogini” referred to both fierce flying goddesses and the mortal women who ritually became those deities. This voluptuous yogini is a four-armed goddess. Sitting on an owl and brandishing a sword, she inserts two fingers into the corners of her open mouth, bares her individually carved teeth, and emits a piercing whistle. She may have been one of the yoginis whose name roughly translates as “she who makes a loud noise.”

India, Uttar Pradesh, Kannauj
First half of the 11th century
San Antonio Museum of Art, purchased with the John and Karen McFarlin Fund and Asian Art Challenge Fund 90.92

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As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.