Jonathan Silk silk at HUMNET.UCLA.EDU
Fri Feb 13 18:24:25 UTC 2004

While I certainly would not wish to contradict John Huntington when
it comes to artistic representations, when I recently discussed the
question with Gail Maxwell of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a
propos a Bharhut image, she showed me her extensive files on the
depiction of the makara, including her evidence--I am not able to
judge whether it is convincing--that the earliest images are based
upon the Gavialis gangeticus, most particularly with regard to the
evolution of the snout, which in the actual crocodile inflates when
excited. (Another issue which might be  relevant here is that at
least at a later period there is a conflation of the makara with the
timi, timingila and timitimingila [various spelt]).

Cheers, JAS
Jonathan Silk
Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
Center for Buddhist Studies
290 Royce Hall
Box 951540
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
phone: (310)206-8235
fax:  (310)825-8808
silk at

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