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Sculptures > Brass > The Mother Goddess (Folk Bronze from Bastar)
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The Mother Goddess (Folk Bronze from Bastar)

The Mother Goddess (Folk Bronze from Bastar)

The Mother Goddess (Folk Bronze from Bastar)

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Antiquated Brass Lost Wax Sculpture

14.0" x 5.0" x 4.5"
3.8 kgs
Item Code:
ZK06
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$585.00
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The Mother Goddess (Folk Bronze from Bastar)

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Viewed 6760 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
This tribal art-piece from Bastar in Chhattisgarh, reflects in its own way the continuity of the folk vision of life, universe and creative process from Indus days to our times. The terracotta figurine of the Mother Goddess, or Mother Earth and the bronze statue of the Dancing Girl recovered in excavation of Indus sites are the earliest known human representations on Indian sub-continent. Almost as early is the Maimabad bronze Chariot recovered in excavation from Harappan sites. It has a male figure driving it. Strangely this piece of tribal art presents a blend of these three earliest representations of human form.

This somewhat ugly or strange looking statue revives man's five thousand year old concept of Mother Earth in relation to existence and gives an idea of the human physiognomy of those days. In physical features the image is closer to the Dancing Girl. Long thin shapeless legs, as long dull arms curved at 66 degree angle, narrow forehead slanting upward, eyes socketted and fixed upon forehead, heavy lips with the lower one more protruding and overshadowing chin, blunt stale nose and a flat torso almost formless from hips to breasts are features that this statue shares with the Indus Dancing Girl. The style of bangles is similar, though worn on forearms not on upper ones as is the case of the Dancing Girl. Hair of both have been combed alike but tied differently. Both are nude but the artist has used a massive lizard type reptile to cover the nudity of the figure in this statue. Instead of Dancing Girl's necklace consisting of three pendents the figure in the statue is wearing a rope-chain. In the style of its tall rising neck the figure has great resemblance with the neck of the Harappan male figure driving the Daimabad Chariot.

But what is more interesting and curious than a blend of such various elements is artist's own innovation and symbolic dimensions which he has added to his representation. He has conceived and recreated out of the physical features of the Dancing Girl his version of the Mother Earth. He has invented a lizard type reptile clinging to her bosom. It has its mouth in between her two breasts. With its upper legs the reptile is holding figure's breasts as if ready to suck from them and its hind part trails down her waist, that is, the reptile is in occupation of Mother's entire generative zone. The symbolism of the representation is obvious. It is Mother Earth personified as the 'female'. She is the source of all life as also of all sustenance. She begets and feeds all, the man and reptiles, but they who crawl upon her bosom and are her inseparable part have to her womb and milk first right.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.

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