Lions and tigers (Was: hamsa)

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Wed Feb 13 15:50:05 UTC 2002

Georg v. Simson wrote:
<<In Hindi, zer may denote both tiger and lion -
people either do not know the distinction or they do not care because
they regard it irrelevant.>>

On the same line, in miniatures a lion is frequently represented as a
tiger with a mane, or even with what looks less like a mane than a
beard.  This pops up particular in representations of Vishnu Narasimha.
Has anyone worked on when this change starts?  And can it be correlated
with a decline in the population and spread of the Indian lion, so that
it was harder and harder to see one even in royal menageries?

Allen Thrasher

Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.

Senior Reference Librarian       101 Independence Ave., SE
Southern Asia Section               LJ-150
Asian Division                            Washington, DC 20540-4810
Library of Congress                     U.S.A.
tel. 202-707-3732                       fax 202-707-1724
Email: athr at

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