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Antique Burmese Carved Garuda Head
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Antique Burmese Carved Garuda Head

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Wood: Pre 1900: Item # 1244143
The Zentner Collection
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5757 Horton Street
Emeryville, CA 94608

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Garuda, in Hindu mythology, an eagle is the vahana (mount) of the god Vishnu. An original Burmese hand-carved wooden mythological Garuda bird/human. Shown here as an eagle with Deer antlers and leather "feathers" shown on the sides and top of its head. Hand-painted eyes and beak in red, brown and black feathers, with facial features of a human inside the Garuda's beak.
The mythological account of Garuda’s birth in the Mahabharata identifies him as the younger brother of Aruna, the charioteer of the sun god, Surya.
Garuda’s mother, Vinata, mother of the birds, was tricked into becoming the slave of her sister and co-wife, Kadru, mother of the nagas (serpents). The lasting enmity between the birds, particularly Garuda, and the serpents is attributed to this. The nagas agreed to release Vinata if Garuda could obtain for them a drink of the elixir of immortality, the amrita, or soma. Garuda performed that feat, thus giving the snakes the ability to slough off their old skins, and, on his way back from the heavens, he met Vishnu and agreed to serve him as his vehicle and also as his emblem.

19th century

Provenance Coburn Estate Size: 27.5" wide, 25" tall