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Asian Art

Rattle in the Shape of a Crouching Yaksha

2nd–1st century B.C.E.

Earthenware

3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm)
Purchased with a gift from Steven M. Kossak, B.A. 1972
2000.8.3
Yakshas and their female counterparts, known as yakshis, are semidivine figures that symbolize the earth and fertility. They are depicted both in the form of freestanding sculptures and as designs on terracotta plaques. This example makes a sound when shaken; it may have been used to purify spaces during rituals, rather than as a toy.
Geography: 
India
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Indian
Period: 
Shunga period (185–75 B.C.E.)
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

Art of the Past (dealer), New York; sold to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2000

Bibliography: 

Gautam Sengupta, Sima Roy Chowdhury, and Sharmi Chakraborty, Eloquent Earth: Early Terracottas in the State Archaeological Museum, West Bengal (Kolkata: Centre for Archaeological Studies and Training, 2007).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.