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#Rama #India, Tamil Nadu; Chola period (880-1279), 11th century This strikingly posed figure is Rama, one of the most popular of Vishnu's ten incarnations. Rama can be identified by the position of his hands, which indicates that he is holding a bow and arrow. He is the hero of the #Hindu epic poem the #Ramayana, which centers on the abduction of Rama's wife Sita by the demon-king Ravanna and of her rescue by Rama, his brother Lakshmana, and the chief of the monkey army, Hanuman.

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Standing Hanuman, Chola period (ca. 860–1279), 11th century Tamil Nadu, India | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Saint #Sambandar #India, Tamil Nadu; Chola period (880-1279), 12th century Sambandar, who lived in the 7th century, is one of a group of sixty-three #Hindu saints who dedicated their lives to the worship of Shiva. He can be identified by his youthful appearance (he lived only eighteen years), by his joyful dancing pose (which refers to his emphasis on song and dance in the worship of #Shiva), and by the pointing finger of his right hand.

ASIA SOCIETY: THE COLLECTION IN CONTEXT

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#Parvati #India, Tamil Nadu; Chola period (880-1279), 11th century Parvati, the daughter of the #Himalayan Mountains, is worshiped both as Shiva's wife and as an independent deity. She is identified by her conical crown with its mountainlike tiers and by the distinctive "flower-holding" gesture of her right hand. A statue of Parvati is an integral part of the imagery of #Shiva as Lord of the Dance.

ASIA SOCIETY: THE COLLECTION IN CONTEXT

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