Exact Match
Skull with Trident
Title Skull with Trident
Accession Number 91.139
Title2 Sabdag or The Lord of Soil
Museum Name National Museum, New Delhi
Gallery Name Anthropology
Object Type Anthropology
Main Material Metal
Manufacturing Technique Casted, painted
Country India
Origin Place Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Period / Year of Work Early 20th century CE
Dimensions Lt. 43; Wd. 92 cms (aprrox.)
Detailed Description This mystic image composed of a large gold-like glistening skull with a detachable trident of iron covered with blazing flames, is the representation of Sabdag, a local deity worshipped in and around Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh as the guardian deity of hills and their inhabitants. Sabdag is the manifestation of Lord Shiva's ferocious form, Bhairava. Besides the eye holes and the wide open mouth with teeth exposed in full, in the centre above the forehead, there is a fine serpentine waving line, something like a cranial suture. The skull also has a slit at the apex to fix the trident. Sabdag icons are usually placed on the roof-tops of monasteries or on the top of their entrances. It is believed that wherever its vision stretched, evil spirits and demons that pollute and destroy the balance shall be dispelled.
Brief Description This is a ritual object in the form of a skull and a detachable trident in the form of blazing flames. The object is believed to ward off evil spirits and demons.