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ARCHITECTURE & ICONOGRAPHY

  

 

 

  ushnisha

 

Thailand

The protuberance on the head of a Buddha image is called an ushnisha and is one of the signs of an enlightened being. Sometimes a flame (fig.) or lotus bud (fig.) emerges from the ushnisha, both refer to enlightenment. Typical too are the long earlobes, indicating the noble descent of the Buddha, since these developed from wearing heavy gold earrings, something only nobility could afford.

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