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Votive Tablet

Buddha in Bhumisparsa mudra (gesture of calling the earth to witness), framed by an architectural surround

Terracotta

Burma/Myanmar; 12th–13th Century
DU 1970.47; Denison University

Terracotta tablets like this example are very common, having been produced in large quantities during the Pagan period (eleventh to thirteenth centuries). It is a thick rimmed tablet in the form of a pointed arch. A beaded border surrounds the image. The Buddha is seated cross-legged on a double lotus throne, in the earth-touching gesture, flanked by columns and shaded by a beaded trefoil arch surmounted by an umbrella with streamers. Branches and leaves from the Bodhi tree, beneath which the Buddha sat when he achieved Enlightenment, fill the background. There are four flanking figures —two below, alongside the Buddha’s throne and two above, on the sides of the arch.

 

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