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Miniature Votive Stupa

Miniature Votive Stupa

AD 435

Steatite

Overall: 16.9 cm (6 5/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1990.84

Location

Did you know?

There are trigrams, three horizontal lines, broken or continuous, above each of the eight bodhisattvas in the stupa's lower section.

Description

This sutra pillar, inscribed with a sacred Buddhist text, belongs to a group of miniature stupas (jingta) that were found exclusively in the Gansu corridor, Northwest China. Ranging in date between AD 426–36, some of them bear the names of the lay Buddhist donors who commissioned them. A stupa is an architectural round structure built for the veneration of Buddhist relics. Miniature stupas may have commemorated the visit of a sacred site or represented donations to religious communities and sites.

See also
Department: 
Chinese Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Steatite

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