THOUGH generally the position of the dvarapala or the guards is ascribed to men, Indian literature often refers to female guards known as yavanis. As mentioned in the Divyavadana and other later texts, female guards were employed by the kings. A.S. Altekar has referred to several examples of the female guards and stated that the Karnatak women were particularly known for this. The image was earlier identified as the chauri bearer by the scholars. However, the long club on which her hand is supported and her personality both suggest her role as a guard. The identification was confirmed by Anand Krishna in a personal discussion. Her top-heavy body is slightly stretched as she stands in attention, looking straight with her wide-open eyes. Her facial features, particularly the thick lips, and her bust are very different from the physical features of Indian women. It is possible that she is of foreign origin.
Figurine Sculpture Bronze sculpture
10th Century CE
22.3 x 8 x 7.6 cms.