LEGEND & MYTHOLOGY
century stone statue of Lord Ganesha in Indonesia
Archaeologists, in Indonesia, have recovered a rare 12th century stone statue
of Lord Ganesha, which is the only one in the country in which the elephant-headed
deity is depicted as riding atop a mouse. According to a report in the Jakarta
Post, a research team from the Mpu Purwa Historical Object Preservation Center
in Malang, East Java, recovered the statue. "The mouse is apparently included
as an animal used by Ganesha as a vehicle, but this type of statue has never been
found in Indonesia before. Ganesha is usually seen riding the Lembu Nandhini cow,
the Jatayu bird, or the Padmasana lotus," said Malang archeologist Suwardono.
Other singularities of this statue, recently handed over by a private collector,
include Ganesha's stiff facial expression and a badhong carving on the shoulders.
The decorations worn by the god, also called samboghakaya, are also more lavish.
"The badhong strand is part of the special trait of statues inherited from the
Kediri empire, from the Raja Baneswara to Kertajaya kingdoms. The most special
trait is the mouse as a vehicle on the pedestal of the statue," Suwardono said.
Suwardono said he had cross-checked the statue with the National Archeology Research
and Development Center in Jakarta, the Trowulan Center for Archeological Conservation
and Heritage in Mojokerto, and the Archeological Center in Yogyakarta, the results
of which confirmed the statue was a one-of-a-kind that had never been seen before.
The epigraphist and iconographer explained that the 40- by 22- by 22-centimeter
statue, intended to be placed in temples, originated in northern India and gradually
spread further southward. The statue is usually placed at the back of a temple
for worship. It functions as a balance and a guardian for unsafe areas and is
related to worship to ward off disaster. The statue was obtained from a collector
named Jayusman, a resident of Jl. Sambas in Malang. Jayusman said he had obtained
the statue from a Chinese-Indonesian collector a long time ago. Suwardono found
the special traits after analyzing the statue for the past two weeks. "These artifacts
are priceless and sought after by collectors," Suwardono said.
-Apr 2, 2009