Published Sep 30 2013, by


A Makara is a mythical composite, a creature with body parts of various animals joined together by imagination in art and lore.  The hybrid power of the Makara is emphasized by combined parts of both terrestrial and aquatic animals. Foreparts are usually mammalian, although the jaws are sometimes described as like those of a crocodile, and hindquarters are taken from fish, birds, and reptiles.  Most distinctively, Makaras have, curled elephant- or manatee-like noses, wide, gaping jaws, and by virtue of their trunk carry an association with water. This well-weathered head of a makara has a curling trunk, making him more elephantine than crocodilian and more to be admired than feared. In Central Javanese art, they serve as protectors of order, and, like water to which they give an imaginative unity of multiple life forms; they are the essential component of bounty.