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Deities and Devotion in Mongolian Buddhist Art

Hemanta Rajni Riding a Camel
18th century
Gilt bronze, pigments

Loan from the collection of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton.

Hemanta Rajni is the Queen of Winter. She often appears in the retinue of the dharmapala Magzor Gyalmo, but is also revered as a deity in her own right. Because she rides a camel, Hemanta Rajni is considered by Mongolians to be the patron saint of camel herders. Before the introduction of motor vehicles, camels played an important role in transporting people and goods across the vast Mongolian steppes.

References: Fleming, Zara (ed.). Mongolian Buddhist Art: Masterpieces from the Museums of Mongolia. Volume 1, Parts 1 & 2: Thangkas, Appliqu├ęs and Embroideries. Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2011, pp. 916-919; Meinert, Carmen (ed.). Buddha in the Yurt: Buddhist Art from Mongolia, Volumes 1 & 2. Munich: Hirmer Publishers, 2011, pp. 552-555.