Mojilpur Durga Idol
|Dimensions (L x B x H)||
12 x 5 x 20 cm
Curious faces of Durga stared peacefully at the play of clouds across the autumn sky. The sun peeped, etching myriad shadows on their clayey smiles, so lively, yet with no trace of life. A violent eye of the demon, stared in stark reality on the opposite end. They were fervently praying to the same idols, made from their blood and sweat and expertise, to help them finish off those moulded arms in ten, fired from the clay of the Ganges. After all, they would take care of their hungry mouths the year-round.
Bengal had made a distinct place in the history of idol-making, since 8th century AD. During the reign of Pala and Sena dynasties, a new sculptural revolution started in this fertile land of the Ganges and reflected the richness of Indian sculptural traditions of ‘Devi Durga’ forms as seen in Mahaballipuram, Aihole and Ellora. With Durga Puja attaining popularity, potters were no more confined to the land of Nadia. Instead, Calcutta and South Bengal became important centres for clay sculptures, apart from Krishnanagar.
Artisans conceptualise and visualise life in a clay idol down generations and learn from peers, the art of idol making, instead of picking lessons from any modern art institution. Yet, these artisans know how to experiment every year with the Goddess of Clay.
Here is an exquisite clay Devi Durga handcrafted in Mojilpur in South Bengal by probably the last of the survivors who inherited and have been working honestly to take the tradition forward.
This piece of craft is exclusively made for The Bengal Store.
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