Warriors and Guardians

The Persian Guard, aka The 10,000 Immortals

from Apadana Palace at the Persian Achaemenid Persepolis, Iran, c. 510 BCE

photo by dynamo mosquito

photo by Ginolerhino (cc)

The Terra Cotta Army of Qin Shi Huang

Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China, c. 210 BCE

Information from the Times of London

photo by Bernt Rostad (cc)

photo by bkfrog (cc)

photo by don.lee (cc)

photo by bkfrog (cc)

Fox Warrior Bottle

Moche culture, Peru, 6th-8th Century CE

photo by unforth (cc)

Aztec (Mexica) Eagle Warrior

Mexico, c. 1440-1469

photo by tnb (cc)

GI Joe

photo by parl, posted under an Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license

More Warriors

Warrior Figures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Lion Gates of Mycenae

photo by clairity (cc-at)

More Guardian Lions

Tang Dynasty Guardian Figure, China

Lead-glazed earthenware, h: 32.6 cm
ca. 700-740 CE

photo by Laura Shefler

More Tang Dynasty Guardian Figures

One of 12 Demon Guardians, Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand

Late 18th century

…also known as a yaksha, which is not so much a demon as a benevolent nature spirit.

photo by René Ehrhardt (cc-at)

Reliquary Figures from Gabon

photo by Laura Shefler

Reliquary guardian figure, Kota peoples, Gabon, Late 19th to early 20th century, Wood, brass, copper, bone, iron

photo by Mary Harrsch (cc-at-nc-sa)

Reliquary Guardian Figure, Fang People, Gabon,wood metal and shell late 19th century

Reliquary guardian figures in Central African art:

“In Gabon and adjoining regions in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, the spiritual connection between the living and the dead takes physical form through reliquaries (containers for the preserved pieces of skull and bones) that represent important ancestors, such as the founders of extended families and villages, or women who have borne many children. The living family not only honors the dead with ceremonies and gifts, but through prayer and ritual they also consult the deceased on significant matters, such as warfare, infertility, and preventing illness. Reliquary guardian figures protect the irreplaceable relics that link the living to the dead.”

More Guardian Figures

Ancestor surrounded by Guardian Wildlife, Sepik River area, New Guinea

Door Guardian from a Hindu Temple, 12th century CE, British Museum

Guardian Statue at Todai-ji Temple, Nara, Japan, Late 8th century CE, Height: 28 feet