Naga Statue - Antique Khmer Style Bronze Protective 'Queen Soma' Mother of Naga, Snake or Serpent Statue - 77cm/31"
Measures (Height) 77cm/31"
An antique Khmer style protective seven-headed Naga, Snake or Serpent from HD Asian Art. As the 'Mother of Naga' Queen Soma morphs into the three-tired coils of the Naga, with the flaring head of a giant Naga, the serpent King Muchalinda, rising behind protectively behind her.
The Naga protects Queen Soma the ruler of the Kingdom of Funan and widely claimed as the first ruler of Cambodia (1st century). She was also the first female leader of Cambodia. She is also known as Soma, Liǔyè, Liễu Diệp and Neang Neak.
Queen Soma and her husband, Kaundinya I, are known in Khmer legend as 'Preah Thong (Kaundinya) and Neang Neak (Soma).
As per the legends, an Indian merchant ship was attacked by the pirates led by Soma, daughter of the chieftain of the local Naga clan. The merchants led by Kaundinya fought back and fended off the attackers but the ship had been damaged and was beached for repairs.
The Indians were wary of a second attack but Princess Soma was impressed by Kaundinya's bravery and proposed marriage which was accepted. The union led to the foundation of the House that became the royal dynasty of Funan which would rule the region for many generations. Royal legitimacy was acquired through the female line in the kingdom. This also explains the reason why the serpent (Naga) became an important part of Khmer iconography as is seen thousand years later when this historic mystical union remained an important part of the court ceremonies at Angkor during the era of the Khmer Empire.
In the Buddhist culture the Naga or serpent offers protection.
The casting of this piece is lovely as you can see in the fine details of the Naga. Each detail is rendered perfectly. The distinctive patina of the piece is also particularly delightful.
This traditional in appearance piece is sure to add protection to your home, office or sacred space.
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