Friday, 12 October 2007

Idol Making

Clay idols of Bengal are famous for the skilled and traditional way in which they are made. The fundamental rule to be followed is that all things used should come from the river. The clay artisans labor hard for months to produce some of the most beautiful images of Goddess Durga at the festival time. Bamboo sticks are used to make the skeletal structure of the idol and the platform on which it stands. Then the shape is given to the idol using straw and jute ropes and strings to keep it in place. These clay artisans known as Pals have been making fabulous figurines of Hindu Gods and Goddesses since ages. The lengthy process takes diligence and skill for the creation of some of the most enviable artworks that can be said to touch the ultimate perfection in idol making. These artisans are grouped for different functions in making of an ideal. While one group makes the skeleton from bamboo and straw, the other group mixes clay and apply it. The most skilled of workers or Pals make the head, palms and feet of the idol. The second stage involves application of clay, which is done in three steps. The first coat of clay solution has high percentage of water to fill the crevices of the straw structure of the figurine. The second layer needs caution, as this is one, which gives the real finish to the figurine. Here, the clay has to be very fine and devoid of any impurities. Palms, head and feet that have been made separately by the highest graded Pals are attached at this stage. Moulds are created from one head to be used in the creation of many heads. The third stage involves a very thin coat of clay applied by using pieces of cloth soaked in fine clay from riverbed of Ganga. It is applied to the joints to strengthen them and fill up any cracks that may develop after drying. The statue is then painted with base white earth color and then pink or yellow earth colors. The last earth color is that of red blood. The main artist paints the eyes and other details before varnishing the statue and gluing jute hair to the image. The image is then dressed and ornamented with real or artificial jewels, ready to be taken to pandals (marquees)for worshipping.Pandal Making: Another art form popularly associaled with Durga Puja is the making of Pandals that are to be the guest house of Goddess Durga for the four days of her stay here. 'Barwari Puja' or community Puja, usually financed by the local land-owners or sponsored by the rich people are a common feature and thus these pandals and mandaps were done lavishly. Today, people set up pandals in every street. However, these making of pandals follow well-set plans that use bamboo poles, wooden planks and cloth. Creativity and skills rule the making od some of the most intricate and fine designs that are executed in an elaborate and grand manner. Decorated by lights and flowers and paintings depicting scenes related to Durga Puja, these pandals often look like film sets and even icure huge expenses.
My newspaper told me that the artisans take clay and mud from prostitute 's homes for making the face of the idols, this is considered to be auspicious
All this makes me think my friends. God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
We cannot liken God to any image, He is beyond our imagination.He is Light and abides in light.We cannot liken Him to any created thing.

5 Fertilize my soul:

Pijush said...

Wonderful post with so much of informations. Be it Nabaratri, Dashera or Durga Puja (and also Ramjan for Muslims)- the whole India is in festive mood now.
I will backlink this post in my Durga Puja review.
Have a nice weekend.Njoy

Roo said...

thanks for sharing this amrita. shalom to you....

Dick said...

Very nice photo and story.

Lindy said...

I love your insight in this post regarding the limitlessness of God and our inability to fathom Him.

Thank you so much for your kind words and your prayers a week ago at Donetta's place for our little girl during her illness. She is back to her old self as of yesterday and I am so grateful for your kindness and your prayers!

Donetta said...

Wow this is amazing to see it in a present day like this. I want to show the kids this post too. Thank you for keeping the reality of this present day before us. Love you sweetest Sister.