Hayagriva (Tsam figure)

  • Морин холойт/ Морин эгшигт / Хаянхирваа / Хаянхярваа / Дамдин / Morin xooloit / Morin egšigt / Xayanxirwaa / Xayanxyarwaa / Damdin
  • Morin-u egešigtü / Morin-u qoγolai-tu
  • rTa mgrin
  • Hayagrīva
  • Tsam figure
  • begin 20th century
  • Wood
  • Height: not filled / Width: not filled / Depth: not filled
  • Collection: Hans Leder, Inv. Nr.: 74714
  • Weltmuseum Wien
  • © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM
Several small wooden figures depicting expressively characters of the Tsam dance ceremony (T. ´cham), one of the most important Buddhist festivities, form an extraordinary group within the Leder collections. Twelve figures are housed in the Weltmuseum Wien (the former Museum für Völkerkunde Wien).This figure represents Hayagrīva. He is one of the Great Protectors of Buddhism (dharmapāla) and is ranked among the group of the yidam (personal meditation and protection deities), too. He takes an active role in destroying the obstacles that stand in the way of enlightenment. Hayagrīva is also the Guardian Lord of Horses, and quite revered in Mongolia. He is not mentioned in all descriptions of the Tsam. He has a red face with a third eye, fangs and flaming hair. Usually, there is a green horse’s head in the middle of his crown; at this representation it is white. He is mentioned as a figure in the Tsam of the lamas in Tanu-Tuva (Nebesky-Wojkovitz 1976: 61). In the Choijin Lama Temple Museum in Ulaanbaatar there is a mask with representation of Hayagrīva, whose provenance is said to be the Janjin Choir Monastery in the former Setsen Khan Aimag, in the south of Urga (cf. Lang 2013: 74, Berger and Bartholomew 1995: 164).
© M.-K. Lang
Hayagriva (Tsam figure)
/ Mongolia / begin 20th century / Weltmuseum Wien / © KHM mit MVK und ÖTM