MediumPigments, gilding on sized cloth
DimensionsWork : 4 3/4 x 3 5/8 x 5/8 in. (12.07 x 9.21 x 1.59 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
Simhavaktra is considered by some to be the queen of the dakini. She has the head of a white snow lion and the body of a human woman. As here, she is typically portrayed in a dancing pose holding a ritual flaying knife, a skull cup filled with blood, and a skull-tipped tantric staff. She wears a five-skull crown and bone jewelry together with an elephant-skin cloak and a tiger-skin skirt. She is accompanied by her two attendants, the tiger-headed Vyaghravaktra and the bear-headed Rikshavaktra. In Mongolia, Simhavaktra was traditionally favored by the Nyingma School and was invoked especially for protection against witchcraft and necromancy.