Brass figurine of Shiva and Parvati.

Place details: ASIA. India / Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Brass Metal / ?. Processes: Lost Wax Cast / ?. Dimensions: Max H = 80 mm Field Collector: Unknown When Collected: By 1910 Other Owners: Barbara Whitchurch Freire-Marreco PRM Source: Barbara Whitchurch Freire-Marreco also known as Mrs Robert Aitken Acquired: Donated January 1910

KEYWORD: Figure / Religious Object / CLASS: Figure / Religion / ?.

Publications history, trails & websites: Featured in Out in Oxford: An LGBTQ+ Trail of the University of Oxford's Collections. Part of 'Celebrating Diversity' a project funded by Arts Council England via the Oxford University Museums Partnership and created with the LGBTQ+ community. [NC 16/02/2017]

See booklet Out in Oxford: An : An LGBTQ+ Trail of the University of Oxford's Collections (published by University of Oxford) [in RDF with printout of webpage http://www.glam.ox.ac.uk/outinoxford-prm]: This object depicts the Hindu deities Shiva and Parvati as a couple. There are a variety of Hindu legends detailing the events leading to their eventual marriage, but a common theme throughout is that their courtship was not plain sailing. However, their marriage has since been viewed as a model relationship in Hinduism and there is a sense of equality implied between the two in this object as they are both of a similar size, seemingly two equal halves of a whole. Shiva and Parvati, combined, create the god Ardhanari (translated literally as “the Lord who is half woman”), a god containing both male and female elements, which challenges monotheistic gods who are traditionally wholly male. Ardhanari is a patron of hijras, a term which, in some South Asian countries, refers to transgender people or people whose gender identity is not necessarily male or female. Some of these countries’ governments have now legally recognised hijras as a third gender (by Olivia Aarons). [NC 16/02/2017]