This superbly crafted figure is believed to depict the famous abbot Sakya Pandita (1182–1252). The beginnings of Tibetan theocracy date back to his era; in this form of government the ruler was a religious figure or someone held to be a divinity.
Sakya Pandita’s splendid attire indicates the secular aspect of the Sakya School. This type of cap, for example, was typically worn by members of this school. The book and sword are references to the; Sakya Pandita was considered to be an emanation of that being.