Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/index.php)
-   Ethnographic Weapons (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=2)
-   -   Who am I (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=893)

tuancd 21st June 2005 04:18 PM

Who am I
 
4 Attachment(s)
Hi everybody
We have had an extensive study on durga on another thread.
Lets start this one with another interesting deity
any suggestion?
Regards

Rick 21st June 2005 04:59 PM

Somehow
 
I think this is a trick question , but I'll play the fool (I'm good at that :D ) .
This would appear to be a representation of Ganesha , the only thing that throws me off a little is that there seems to be a beak at the beginning of the trunk and one tusk does 'not' appear to be shorter than the other .

Jan 21st June 2005 05:33 PM

I can see the beak (or is it a snout?), but I do not see a trunk - which now throws me off a little from the Ganesha theory as well ;) He/she/it is licking or chewing on something.
But what is it, if not a trunk?

Battara 21st June 2005 05:53 PM

I see this as a trunk of Ganesha, son of Shiva and I think Parvati. He gives good fortune.

tom hyle 21st June 2005 06:30 PM

What appears to be an elephant's trunk (note the cross section and the open tip) and tusks seem to be protruding from the beak. The second k(e)ris handle lately that seems to depict a character with crossover features of two mythic/religious figures (Remember the monkey/bird?). Are bird features commonly attributed/depicted for figures that are not birds? Is disguise or transformation as a mythic theme perhaps relevant? Or did Garuda eat Ganesh? (tie in to legend/memory of the roc?)
The left hand is making a sexual gesture/reference, and that reminds of another k(e)ris hilt we've recently seen, too.

fearn 21st June 2005 07:51 PM

Hanuman, perhaps? That's not an elephant: it's something with a muzzle and either a long tongue or something else sticking out of its mouth.

Fearn

Tim Simmons 21st June 2005 08:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This is my picture of Ganesha according to my book. He is not shown with a rat or a butter ball, some of his normal attributes, It cannot be him? according to some arguments. When invaded or conquered, signs of the old order or your true allegiance have to be disguised. Like the supporters of the Jacobite rebelion leader Charles Stuart in 18th century Britian, they found many artistic devises and motifs to put on many objects which would show there allegiance to those in the know.This could well have been the case with krises and slowly becoming a standard art form. Just a thought. Tim

Rick 21st June 2005 10:21 PM

Ganesha is often depicted holding his trunk , and he is a pretty stout looking fellow .

tom hyle 21st June 2005 10:41 PM

It's not a tongue; tongues are usually flatter and shorter, and they certainly do not have a nose hole in their end. It's not a very naturalistic trunk, and could be something else pehaps, but also, the tusks are visible beside the trunk where it emerges from the birdish mouth. Tim's picture is exhibitting the same feature; the trunk is coming out between the lips of a mouth, which of course is not accurately elephantine. The head/mouth on Tim's picture looks mammalian, while the other seems avian? I can't tell if there is a similar sexual gesture in the picture Tim posted. It is as if an elephant were either wearing a mask with the trunk emerging from the mask's mouth, or as if an elephant were emerging from or disappearing into these mouths.

spiral 22nd June 2005 12:44 AM

Well I try to research a lot of the Hindu Gods as they regularily appear on Nepalese Kothimora kukri scabbards, etc. Which is more my field.

But To me it looks like a beaked Garuda , eating a snake.{Naga..}


which rathers matches these words from a Hindu prophet.....

Lord Vishnu sent a message to Lord Shiva. He sent the message through Garuda, the eagle which is Vishnu's vehicle. Garuda came to Shiva, flapping its wings. When the snake, which was adorning Shiva, caught a little feel of the wind which was being produced by the flapping of Garuda's wings, it started hissing. Although an eagle is the deadly enemy of snakes and a snake would normally slink away when an eagle comes near, now, this snake began hissing at Garuda. It had the courage to do this because of the great strength it got by virtue of the position it occupied around the neck of the Lord. When this snake fearlessly continued hissing, Garuda said, "O snake, you are there around the neck of Lord Shiva; therefore I must excuse you. But just come aside a little, come away from there for a moment." The instant the snake leaves its position, it becomes a meal for the eagle. As long as it remains in its position it gains great strength because of its nearness to divinity.
.................................................. .................................................
So thats what I think! {+no proof just opinion ;) }
Garuda eating a Naga!

Spiral

Rick 22nd June 2005 01:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
Well I try to research a lot of the Hindu Gods as they regularily appear on Nepalese Kothimora kukri scabbards, etc. Which is my feild.

To me it looks like a beaked Garuda , eating a snake.{Naga..}


which rathers matches these words from a Hindu prophet.....

Lord Vishnu sent a message to Lord Shiva. He sent the message through Garuda, the eagle which is Vishnu's vehicle. Garuda came to Shiva, flapping its wings. When the snake, which was adorning Shiva, caught a little feel of the wind which was being produced by the flapping of Garuda's wings, it started hissing. Although an eagle is the deadly enemy of snakes and a snake would normally slink away when an eagle comes near, now, this snake began hissing at Garuda. It had the courage to do this because of the great strength it got by virtue of the position it occupied around the neck of the Lord. When this snake fearlessly continued hissing, Garuda said, "O snake, you are there around the neck of Lord Shiva; therefore I must excuse you. But just come aside a little, come away from there for a moment." The instant the snake leaves its position, it becomes a meal for the eagle. As long as it remains in its position it gains great strength because of its nearness to divinity.
.................................................. .................................................
So thats what I think! {+no proof just opinion ;) }
Garuda eating a Naga!

Spiral


That makes a certain amount of sense Spiral , but from an artistic point of view I would expect to see either a head or a tail in the hand of the deity , and what about those tusk like features in the mouth , they are unlike most Balinese fang representations . :confused:

spiral 22nd June 2005 01:24 AM

Could that be just artistic licence or interpritation Rick?

I have zero knowledge of Bali, its people or weapons.

Known lots of artists though! :rolleyes:

Spiral

Rick 22nd June 2005 03:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
Could that be just artistic licence or interpritation Rick?

I have zero knowledge of Bali, its people or weapons.

Known lots of artists though! :rolleyes:

Spiral


Hi Spiral ,
Oh , you must mean artistes . ;) :D

This is indeed an interesting interpretation of Ganesh (if it is indeed Ganesh) and I am not certain at all that it is . I just offer similarities to popular Balinese iconography of said deity . In doing a Ganesh search on eBay I found a Bali mask that shared some of the attributes of this piece , some but not all .
I think it's time for Cedric to chime in at this point seeing as it was he who dropped this in our laps . :)

Cedric ??

M ELEY 22nd June 2005 05:00 AM

Could the object protruding from the deity's mouth possibly be a pipe of some sort? That would explain the similarity to a trunk and how the mouth appears above it. I would also guess a garuda, judging from the feather-like protrusions from the top of the head...

tuancd 22nd June 2005 10:23 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Thanks to all

I must admit that I'm balanced between Ganesh and a Garuda Balinese interpretation.

If we compare this handle to the Ganesh I'm posting now, the artist interpretation would weight more for a Ganesh.
This one has the same nose holes on top of the trunk, same fangs, and is obviously a Ganesh.

any further clues are welcome.

by the way I'm republishing an article about handle and I miss some pictures for a nice Ganesh like the one posted by Tim. If anyone want to have his hulu published, he is welcome. :D

tom hyle 22nd June 2005 01:51 PM

It seems like the same figure as #1 (though he holds a club, rather than a statue of a penis, and does he not display a 3rd eye?). #2 is somewhat more different. Both #1 and #2 have a lip or beak edge (#2 definitely doesn't look like a beak; looks like a mammal) that crosses the trunk, so that the trunk emerges from beneath it. #3 is more realistic/naturalistic, as the trunk comes out of the surface of the face, not from below the lip, thoug the nostrils are still there, as said. One thing to consider, as I've mentioned about Africa, is that these people may have not seen elephants in person? Are we running on an assumption that this is Ganesh because of the elephant feature(s)? Is this confirmed by native/documentary sources? Is it possible it's someone else, even? Are the nonelepnant features artistic conventions perhaps grown of ignorance, like Europeans carving dolphins with nose holes in their nose? Or do the combined features illustrate some particular tale/attribute/etc?

Rick 22nd June 2005 02:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Cedric , I think what we're looking at here are two representations (with artistic license) or interpretations of Lord Ganesha . I've got to believe that if it were Garuda eating a snake it would be more obvious as I stated before . The cup at the end of the trunk in the first example is too elephant-like to represent even a part of a snake . One other point , Lord Ganesha is depicted with nostrils above his trunk in many Balinese carvings . I think that this feature tends to impart a beak like look to the face , also the horizontal tusks just don't fit with a Garuda interpretation IMO .

When the Naga is depicted it is usually more obvious :

nechesh 22nd June 2005 02:58 PM

Sorry guys, but i don't see the controversy. Even with the beak like structure the first pic appears to be obviously Ganesh, ears and all. As Rick has pointed out, he often holds one trunk in his hand as is depicted here clearly. I cannot see this as being anyone else.

Rick 22nd June 2005 03:45 PM

Agreed
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nechesh
Sorry guys, but i don't see the controversy. Even with the beak like structure the first pic appears to be obviously Ganesh, ears and all. As Rick has pointed out, he often holds one trunk in his hand as is depicted here clearly. I cannot see this as being anyone else.


Yes , the Elephant is standing in the middle of the room here .
We just have to admit that it is . :D

fearn 22nd June 2005 04:59 PM

Hi Rick and Nechesh,

There's a really fundamental problem: on an elephant, the trunk is the NOSE.

On this figure, there's a perfectly good, human-form nose, right above that beak.

If that's the way you identify elephants, you might identify each kid with a popsicle, or every karaoke singer with a microphone in his mouth, as an elephant. Right? That's the structure we're looking at here. The snakey-looking thing comes out of the mouth, not off the nose.

I can agree that it's a Garuda figure, rather than my earlier guess of Hanuman, because it looks like a human upper face, combined with a bird-beak for a mouth. Also, elephants don't have feathers for "hair" as this figure obviously does.

Another point: that "trunk" has stripes like a snake: possibly a krait or something else.

Fearn

Henk 22nd June 2005 07:13 PM

Gentlemen,

This is an elephant, but it isn't Ganesha. Last year I visited a fellow collector who is a member of the studygroup of Tammens. The studygroup still excists and is active. He showed me a balinese keris with the same ukiran figure.
Ganesha I said. Wrong he said. Ganesha holds his trunk in his left hand and this guy holds his trunk in his right hand. He did tell me the name of this guy but unfortunately I forgot it.

Maybe one of the experts can help us out and tell us the name of this guy?

Rick 22nd June 2005 08:57 PM

Hi Fearn , respectfully I must disagree with you . :)
Every one of the depictions illustrated have the nostrils at the base of the trunk . This may be related to how Ganesha got his elephant head .
I have already stated my other observations and opinions so I won't waste bandwidth in restating them .

To each his own . :)

Henk , I'd love to hear about this other elephant figure you refer to .
Cedric , anymore input from you ?

Anyone else care to chime in here ? :)


/As Freud said , sometimes a cigar is just a cigar . ;) :D

< ducks for cover>

Bill 22nd June 2005 09:36 PM

I would guess that it is an elephant emerging from a bird. The ears look human, not elephant. Tranformation? What hasn't had comment is the face on the back of the head, a mouse?

Ian 22nd June 2005 09:47 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Guys:

There are many versions of Ganesha, and some substantial artistic differences between geographic areas of Hindu influence. For example, contemporary representations of Ganesha from Nepal are quite different in appearance from Indian representations. There is a spiritual consistency, however, in the various postures, and to be true to the Ganesha traditions there are some clear guidelines.

To quote from http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly/aa083000a.htm

"Significance of the Ganesha Form

Ganesha's head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse."

Looking at the original subject of this post, there is little in this figure to suggest Ganesha other than the unusual looking "trunk," which is held in the right hand (never a traditional posture for Ganesha). The anomalies here may be the result of a culture long removed from its traditional roots of Hinduism, or perhaps the depiction of a completely different deity, as has been suggested.

Ian.

Here are two traditional Ganesha forms:

tuancd 23rd June 2005 12:16 AM

Hi everybody

Dear Henk
I'll be glad to know of a second elephant headed god. Actually right or left it does not really matters. It shows how the different ways to the aim. The swastikas counter or clock-wise is the Buddhist representation of the same thing.

For the broken tusk, I've been told by the Guimet conservator that one night after a long day Ganesh had eaten so much that he was lost and asked his way to the moon. The moon fool in the sky laugh at him and told him to wait until morning. Furious Ganesh took one of his fang and thrown it at the moon. That's why we have the climbing crescent of moon and since he missed declining one.

I like also the Mahâbhârata related story, thanks Ian.

For the handle, I really think it's Ganesh. But I can't trace any other picture or sculpture of a Ganesh like that. That's why I asked.

Thanks to all and best regards
Cedric

spiral 23rd June 2005 10:07 AM

I suppose the other potentialy likely God with a trunk & tusks is of course the Makara!

Spiral..


To quote from..

http://www.khandro.net/mysterious_makaras1.htm

Which has illustrations & pictures.


The Sanskrit word makara can refer to the amphibian animal we know as the crocodile. However, it also designates a mythological water creature that resembles a croc in only one way -- it has a long proboscis [nose-like organ.] It is doubtful that someone would recognize in images and sculptures of makaras any crocodilian he or she had ever seen.

For example, in the temple complex of Khajuraho in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the temple-guardian makara sculptures resemble sleek sorts of seals. They are chubby, smooth-coated creatures with short, re-curved trunks.

Now the trunk is the identifying characteristic of the elephant, and as we have seen, elephants are associated with the rain clouds that presage a plentiful harvest. Hence, they are linked with Lakshmi, the Indian goddess of prosperity. This calendar art image shows how the elephant is related to the mythological water creature called makara.



Named "river horse" by the Greeks, the hippopotamus also may be the prototype for the makaras that accompany Ganga, goddess of heavenly sweet waters. Or, if ever there actually existed an animal resembling the makara in the ancient Indian environment, the gentle, vegetarian manatee (Trichechus manatus) might even be a candidate.

In astrology, the makara is often translated Water Horse, and corresponds to the western astrological sign of Capricorn. It is serpentine or seal-like, and its elephantine head is often used as an architectural decoration or as a structural bracket.

In India, Makara-Shankranti occurs at the terminal cusp of Capricorn indicating that the sun is now entering the tenth house of the Zodiac and heading towards the northern hemisphere -- the winter solstice has passed. It is celebrated in the middle of the month of January and is regarded as a kind of New Year. Unfortunately, it is the custom for many Hindu families to sacrifice animals at this time, often one for each member. In the state of Kerala, a holy flame called Makara Jyoti seems to appear in the skies at the prominent temple of Sabari Malai on that day.

Water horse translated into German is wasserpferd, but that term is used for the walrus. The one aspect of that great sea mammal that recalls the makara is its characteristic posture with its head in the air while its lower body is in the water. On the other hand, look at the elephant seal: If there is any "water horse" in nature, this is the candidate that seems to bear the closest resemblance.

Mugging

In Hindi, a crocodile is called magar. We sometimes see this written as "mugger." The Indian salt water crocodile is among the largest of the world's 23 species of crocodilians, a group that includes alligators and gavials. The snout of some gavials (more properly known as gharial, for the ghara or pot at the end of the mature male's snout that may serve as an amplification chamber for sounds emitted during courtship,) is long and very slender, and up-curving. It is amongst the largest of crocodilians, averaging between 12 and 15 feet. Perhaps those are reasons why the makara of art and architecture seems like an aquatic elephant

Rick 23rd June 2005 01:51 PM

Hi Spiral , I am by no means an expert in Hindu iconography . I have seen my fair share of depictions of them and have yet to see a Makara with any human features from Indo .

<standard caveats apply> :D

tom hyle 23rd June 2005 02:33 PM

The features Ian mentions are in fact almost exactly what we have in the first handle, except mirror imaged/flip-flopped; the tusk is in the left hand, the trunk in the right. BTW if the trunk represents the "ohm" it would make sense for it to emerge from the mouth. The mouse is on the head, rather than ridden upon. The two rather than more arms seems part of Indonesian vs. Hindoo art.
The ears on the first one don't look elephantine at all. They are way too small, and the wrong shape. However, the winglike/featherlike appendage on the head dress(?) do occupy the space an elephant's ears would.
#2 is a bigger picture now. Still can't tell what's up with the left hand though. Small ears on that one.

Jens Nordlunde 23rd June 2005 04:21 PM

There seem to be some confusion about the looks of the Ganesha, there are 32 forms, have a look here http://www.templenet.com/beliefs/ganesha_icon.htm

Rick 23rd June 2005 06:17 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
There seem to be some confusion about the looks of the Ganesha, there are 32 forms, have a look here http://www.templenet.com/beliefs/ganesha_icon.htm


True Jens but these are Indian forms not Balinese and that is the sticking point here I believe . Iconography changes from culture to culture , even if the cultures may share the same religion the deities may be depicted differently .

All of the Ganesha figures depicted in this discussion have only two arms ; are we then to assume that none of these are Ganesha because of that ?

Here are 3 close ups taken from Cedric's pictures .

The first , a side view shows the continuity of line of the trunk and what (IMO) is undoubtedly a tusk .

The second , a front view shows the first segmentation line between the tusks ; if this is a beak there would be a point there instead of a horizontal line .

The third picture shows (again IMO) a rat's head with the long snout and small teeth .

I think it's time for someone to come up with pictures of an unmistakeable Garuda eating a naga Balinese hilt form , or a Makara with human legs and arms .


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:41 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.