iconography either a snake or a bird

Pambadam Earrings, 19th-20th century

Unknown artist, expand_more


The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  92.132.2a,b

The unique shape of these earrings represents an abstracted image of a cobra laying eggs on her nest. Amid the complex arrangement of geometric forms, one can discern two bulging eyes on a widespread hood. Especially in rural regions of Southern India, where these earrings were commonly worn, snakes are simultaneously revered and feared. While they signal protection, their close association with water and the earth also makes them emblems of fortune and fertility.

Pambadam Earrings
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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iconography either a snake or a bird