Dancing Hevajra was the main figural image used in the Khmer territories between the 11th and 13th centuries to indicate the practice of Buddhist rituals and meditations set forth in a text called the Hevajra Tantra. Hevajra is a powerful form of Akshobhya, Buddha of the East, who emanated to explain a quick path to enlightenment. The text describes him with eight heads and four legs, surrounded by eight female enlightened beings who dance in a circle, each holding a different implement.
This elegantly lithe and dynamic sculpture is in exceptionally good condition. Technical studies indicate that it was buried in a vessel that filled with water underground, which explains the unusual gray patina.