Nava Nari Kunjara, the Nine Women Elephant

Wooden panel decorated with nine human figures and foliage in white, yellow, and black pigment on a red ground formed into the shape of an elephant. Four women stand, two to each side of another woman seated in padmasana, the inner two supporting her with one arm, the other supporting another figure above; the outer two also support another figure, these raised figures themselves supporting figures who lie across this structure of humans. The figures are surrounded by foliage, and the whole is framed with a narrow strip of black and red arrows on a gold ground. This painting represents Nava Nari Kunjara, the Nine Women Elephant, one of the exercises young artists in Sri Lanka were taught to master, so probably an apprentice piece.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: