This goddess figure, called a yogini, is both alluring and ferocious. Her body bends gracefully, yet a snake winds around her torso. Her club and shield signal she is ready to protect—or attack. This sculpture once stood in a temple alongside others depicting many yoginis, each with unique powers and attributes. Together they embodied Shakti, the all-powerful goddess believed by many Hindus to be the creative force of the universe.
Artist Indian
Title
  • Yogini
Date late 9th - mid 10th century
Medium Pyroxene gabbro
Dimensions Overall: 46 × 29 × 20 inches, 918 pounds (116.8 × 73.7 × 50.8 cm, 416.4 kg)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, L. A. Young Fund
Accession Number 57.88
Department Asian Art
On View Indian and Southeast Asian Art N150, Level 1 (see map)
By 1926, M. Thangavelu (Kanchipuram, India);
1926, acquired by Gabriel Jouveau-Dubreuil [1885-1945] (Pondicherry, India);
1926 or 1927, sold to (C. T. Loo & Company, Paris, France and New York, NY, USA);
1957-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Grove Dictionary of Art, Vol. 15, p. 515-516.

Grousset, Rene. The Civilization of India. New York, 1967, p. 155 (fig. 88).

Bulletin of the DIA 59, 2/3 (1981): pp 77-84 (ill.).

Mitchell, S.W. "The Asian Collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts." Orientations 13, 5 (May 1982): pp. 14-36 (fig. 8).

100 Masterworks from the Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1985, p. 44- 45 (ill.).

Dehejia, Vidya. Yogini Cult and Temples: A Tantric Tradition. New Delhi, National Museum, 1986, p. 177, 179 (ill.).

Harle, James. "Finding the Kanci Yoginis." Silk Road Art and Archaeology, 6 (1999/2000): pp.285-298 (fig. 1).

Chance, Stacey Lynn. "Investigation of the Goddess' Ascetic Emanations: A Yogini Set from Tamilnadu." M.A. Thesis, University of Missouri, Kansas City, 2000, (ill.) (fig. 3 & 15).

Kaimal, Padma. "Seductive and Repulsive: the Deceptive Contrasts of a South Indian Goddess." Rotunda (Summer/Fall 2003): pp. 28-35 (ill.).

Harle, James. “Some New Light on the Kāñcī Yoginīs.” In Ellen M. Raven, ed. South Asian Archaeology 1999: Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologiests, held at the Univeriteit Leiden, 5-9 July 1999. Groningen, 2008, pp. 453-456; p. 453 (fig. 39.1).

Kaimal, Padma. Scattered Goddesses: Travels with the Yoginis. Ann Arbor, 2012, pp. 22 (fig. 5), 32 (fig. 5), 60 (fig. 37), 156-7, 165-8, 184-7, 204 (fig.125).

Diamond, Debra. "Yoginis" in Yoga: The Art of Transformation. Washington, D.C., 2013, pp. 118-125.

Kaimal, Padma. "Yoginis in stone: Auspicious and inauspicious power." In 'Yogini' in South Asia: Interdisciplinary approaches, ed. István Keul. London and New York, 2013, pp. 97-108 (fig. 8.4).