two roof strut with shalabanjika

painted wood
Nepal, 18th-early 19th cent.
high: 91 cm.

Shalabanjika is the name for a typical and very ancient representation in the Indian culture of a woman, holding a branche of a tree above her, and standing with crossed legs. This is a fertility-symbol; Maya is always depicted in this way, giving birth of the future Buddha Sakyamuni.
Below the Shalabanjikas stand two women in a very sexual provocative pose. A lot of roof struts have this kind of sexual-related depictions: in the popuar believeĀ  this is a protection agaist the danger of lightning.

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