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Questions Regarding the Word Mudra: A Preliminary Survey of Gestures on Indian Icons and their Designation

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Fig. 4: Two Addorsed Females
c. 100 BCE
India: Madhya Pradesh, Bharhut
Rust sandstone
11 in (28.0 cm).

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, from the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection.

This female figure (side b) comes from an arch support of one of the gateways, torana, of the very early Buddhist stupa at Bharhut. Her hands are raised palm to palm in reverence, the earliest gesture to be described in Indian literature.