Symbols and Meanings

Female Deities

Bodhisattvas and tantric deities can be depicted in male or female form. In the Tibetan tradition female tantric deities are identifiable by their feminine figure, smaller size, and more oval-shaped face.

They embody specific enlightened qualities such as wisdom, power, and protection, and they can be peaceful or wrathful in appearance. They are frequently depicted accompanying buddhas or other bodhisattvas. As female tantric deities they symbolize the wisdom aspect of the enlightened mind and are often shown as companions or consorts of male deities.

Objects in the Exhibition