A magnificent tree of life rides on the back of an elephant. On closer inspection, the entire ”tree” can be seen as a ramification of a female figure with her feet and lower body on the elephant’s back and her head at the top of the lamp. This lamp distills the Indian idea of the goddess Devi as an expression of the divine female principle and bearer of life.
Source: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.
Source: Exhibition wall text, Flames of Devotion: Oil Lamps from South and Southeast Asia and the Himalayas.
Object Name: Snuff container (idlelo) Artist: Unknown Culture: Zulu peoples Place of Origin: Natal Colony or the Zulu Kingdom, South Africa Date/Era: Late 19th century Dimensions: H: 19 cm Medium/Materials: Horn, wood Credit Line: Credit Line and Assession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Jay T. Last. Accession Number: X2002.2.55