Ushnishavijaya and Celebration of Old Age (Jyatha Janko)

One of the ways that Newar culture celebrates elders is through this specially commissioned painting.

Ushnishavijaya and Celebration of Old Age (Jyatha Janko), 19th century (Kathmandu Valley, Nepal), pigment on cloth, 46-3/8 x 35-1/8 x 2-1/4 inches (Rubin Museum of Art, New York). Speakers: Dr. Elena Pakhoutova, Senior Curator Himalayan Art at the Rubin Museum of Art and Dr. Steven Zucker

Rubin Museum senior curator Dr. Elena Pakhoutova and Smarthistory’s Dr. Steven Zucker examine a painting that celebrates old age. The Newars—one of the traditional inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal—hold rituals for elders who reach the age of 77 years, 7 months, and 7 weeks. Watch to find out how this painting represents the significance of this specific age.

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Images: Ushnishavijaya and Celebration of Old Age (Jyatha Janko); Nepal; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; Gift of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; F1997.17.24 (HAR100024)

This work at the Rubin Museum of Art

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Learn more about this topic on Project Himalayan Art, a resource from the Rubin for learning about Himalayan, Tibetan, and Inner Asian art and cultures:

Icons Marking the Communal Performance of Buddhist Rituals

Living Practices: Ritual

Chariot Ritual (Bhimaratha Pata)

Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

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More Smarthistory images…

Cite this page as: Dr. Elena Pakhoutova, Senior Curator, Rubin Museum of Art and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Ushnishavijaya and Celebration of Old Age (Jyatha Janko)," in Smarthistory, April 2, 2024, accessed April 15, 2024,