The history of wood carving dates back to the Middle
Paleolithic age and exists as a universal phenomenon in human culture as a
means for artistry. Wooden sculptures have gradually been in demand and still
hold their perfect place in the Indian sculptural art. The sculpture shown here
is carved out of the most finite quality wood in a dark chocolaty shade with
tinges of light highlighting its beautiful formations. Goddess Mariamman is the
Mother Goddess of South India, worshipped mainly in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
She is often associated with Hindu goddess Durga as both the Hindu deities are
opined to be the empowering role models for women and highlight the matriarchal
worldview to the Indian history.
The word Mari, means ‘rain’ and the Tamil word Amman means
‘mother’, thus referring her as the Mother goddess of rain and prosperity. This
wooden art of South Indian goddess Mariamman depicts her as a beautiful young
woman often with a red hued face, sitting here in lalitasana on a high raised
double lotus throne supported by a stylized pedestal. The goddess holds a long
trident and a lotus flower in her anterior hands and the rear hands carry pasa
and ankusa respectively. Bejeweled in gracious necklaces along with a long
floral designed necklace that veils her body from top to bottom, large
karnaphool and matching bracelets and anklets, the sculptor has given apt
justice to the beauty of Mother Mariamman.
Note the perfection of her pleated dhoti forming horizontal
stripes and a traditional floral border at the hem, covered with a beautiful
floral kamarband. As you zoom in to the image, you will not stop praising the
professional skills of the carver by looking at the elegant and smooth curves
of her body, chiselled patterns beautifying her accessories and the realistic
aspects of her expressions displaying Mariamman’s pleasant nature. The long
multiple layered crown that glorifies the deity’s head is marvellously formed
in typical South Indian temple style carvings. Having this artefact at as a
decoration will mark it as an eye-catchy corner of the place.
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