Goddess Kali, the terrible form of Parvati and wife of God Shiva, slaying a demon. Wood carving; 115 cm x 69 cm. Kerala. c. 18th century. 85/6897.

Surrounded by a halo of poisonous cobras and riding on the lifted palms of her female attendant, goddess Kali is shown here slaying a demon. Her enormous earrings embellished with fierce animal motifs, bulbous eyes and fangs, along with her numerous arms, represent the goddess as the feminine counterpart of one who presides over havoc and destruction.

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