Shiva statue- a national treasure in Quang Nam


Head of Shiva statue in Quang Nam, an artefact of the brilliant Champa civilisation, is considered extremely rare and recognised as a national treasure.

Head of Shiva at Quang Nam Museum
Head of Shiva at Quang Nam Museum

This head was found in Dai Loc district of Quang Nam province in 1997.

It was identified to be made in the tenth century. The head is made of gold, 24cm high and 11.3cm wide, weighing 0.58kg.

Its hair includes 3 plaits and 4 knots. The neck is high with 3 lines. There are 4 rectangular holes (7mmx4mm) on the lower part of the head statue which are thought to be used to fix it to another thing.

The eyes of Shiva are buttonhole-shaped. There is a third eye on the forehead. All three eyes have pupils and two thin eyebrows meeting in the middle of the forehead. The nose is straight and high with narrow nostrils. The mouth with thin lips is smiling. The ears are grooved to possibly wear large earrings.

Observing the statue, people believe that it was made by welding. The face is carved delicately, which shows that the ancient Champa people were very skilled and clever.

It is known from the steles at My Son Sanctuary that Shiva was considered as the origin of Champa country. Shiva was the only god statue to be made of gold in hope of a long-lasting royalty and national prosperity.

In Vietnam, there are now two golden heads of Shiva. One was found in Binh Thuan district and another in Quang Nam. They were recognised as Vietnam’s National Treasures in January 2015.