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A Study on Kirtimukha in Mogao Cave 285 at Dunhuang

MA Zhaomin;Archaeological Institute,Dunhuang Academy;  
Animal-faced images have been found in many Buddhist caves throughout China: cave 285 at the Mogao Grottoes, cave 133 at the Maijishan Grottoes, Cave 1 at the Beishiku Cave Temple( Northern Cave Temples), Cave 2 at the Eastern Thousand-Buddha Grottoes, Cave 4 of the Yulin Grottoes in Gansu Province,caves 7, 8, 12, and 13 at the Yun'gang Grottoes in Shanxi Province, and Guyang Cave at the Longmen Grottoes in Henan Province. For a long time, most of these images have been identified as depictions of the taotie motif( "Monster of Greed"), a traditional Chinese decorative pattern. A comparative study of these images suggests that the so-called taotie motif corresponds to Kirtimukha("glorious face") in Buddhist culture.
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