An Enigmatic Figure from Kālañjara
The carrier of the vihāngika or ‘bangy’
Hans T. Bakker
University of Groningen
The sixth-century (?) Sanskrit dictionary Amarakosa (2.10.29f.) describes in its chapter dealing with terms pertinent to the class of the sudras various words for basket (pitaka), among which the vihangika, said to be a basket hanging from a yoke (bharayasti) by a swing (sikya). Lingayasurin’s commentary explains the name: `Because it resembles a bird (vihanga), it is called a vihangika – a yoke that serves to carry goods.’ In modern Anglo-Indian it is known as `bangy.’ This appliance is associated with brahminical activity since its earliest representations.