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Kumara, 8th-9th century

India: Uttar Pradesh, 700-899
25-1/2 x 15 x 6-1/2 in. (64.8 x 38.1 x 16.5 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Kumara, also known as Skanda or Karttikeya, is the divine general of the gods and the son of Shiva and Parvati. Seated on his mount, the peacock, Kumara feeds the now headless bird a snack. Descriptions of Kumara in the Mahabharata state that shortly after his birth, he was chosen by the gods to lead them into battle. This scene is enacted in the relief above Kumara where two figures are seen anointing him with holy water. His youth is demonstrated by the distinctive sikhandaka (crested arrangement) hairstyle, which was worn by young boys.

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