Bust of Hevajra

Period: Angkor period

Date: late 12th–early 13th century

Culture: Cambodia

Medium: Stone

Dimensions: H. 52 in. (132.1 cm); W. 29 in. (73.7 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1936

Accession Number: 36.96.4


This colossal bust of the Esoteric Buddhist god Hevajra comes from the ruins of the ancient site of Angkor in northwestern Cambodia. It is said to have been found near the East Gate (the Gate of the Dead) of the great walled city of Angkor Thom, built by Jayavarman VII (r. 1181–1219). The Bayon, sited at the very center of Angkor Thom, was one of the last major monuments of the Khmer empire.

This sculpture is fragmentary. The top head is missing. If the sculpture was, in fact, intended to represent the dancing Hevajra, it would have had eight arms on each side. Quite a few small bronze sculptures confirm this depiction. To judge from the rough surface of parts of this sculpture, it was never completed.