Full Image and Description Manuscript Catalog
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DRAWING, SNAKE GOD
ASIAN ETHNOGRAPHIC COLLECTION
 
Catalog No: 70.2/ 2989 C
Culture: NEPALESE
Country: NEPAL
Material: PAPER, PIGMENT (WAX CRAYON)
Dimensions: DRAWING) L:38.1 W:25.4 (in CM)
Acquisition Year: 1959 [PURCHASE]
Donor: OKADA
Keywords: DRAWING
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Hindu mythology is heavily populated with snakes. In Nepal, the snake deity Nag (or Naga) is said to have ruled over Katmandu when it was a vast lake. When humans began to drain the lake and build settlements, Nag became angry and caused crops and rain to fail. The festival of Nag Panchami is a Hindu celebration of cobras – called nagas – meant to appease Nag and his descendants. Families make offerings of incense and milk to the nagas to ensure the fertility of their fields and the prosperity of crop. They decorate their walls and doorways with images of nagas similar to this one in a wish for protection and good fortune. This drawing – depicting Ses-Nag, the king of the snakes, and his daughter Nag-kanne along with other waterlife – is one of several images created by Tilak Bahadur Khattri Chettri, a clerk in a small city about 100 miles from Katmandu, Nepal.


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