The Half-Male, Half-Female Form of Shiva (Shiva Ardhanarishvara)
This sculpture is of shiva, originally found in Kerala, southwestern India, which shows the importance of religious symbols in Hinduism. It is the one of the three main gods – the destroyer – and is associated with competing ideas of destruction and regeneration, eroticism and asceticism, and sexuality and celibacy. As a result of this trading system one could find such sculptures elsewhere in Africa or in Asia, showing the role of trade in the distribution of artifacts an religious symbols.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Gift of Samuel Eilenberg, 1987