Memory, Memento, and Sacred Bond
Votive Plaque of Jambhala
- India, probably Nalanda, Bihar
- Pala period (ca. 750–1200)
- H. 2 7/8 x W. 2 1/16 x D. 1 in. (7.3 x 5.2 x 2.5 cm)
- The John and Berthe Ford Collection
Pilgrim souvenirs depict an array of Buddhist deities, including Jambhala, who was propitiated for his ability to bestow wealth. This intricate carving resembles a small relief of Jambhala found at Nalanda, in Bihar, India, a major destination for Buddhist pilgrims visiting its famed monastic university. Traces of red pigment may indicate that the plaque was further embellished with color. Jambhala appears to have been popular throughout eastern India and Tibet during the Pala period.