As the Puja season in Bengal begins, let's take a look at how clay idols of gods and goddesses, which are worshiped during this period, are made.
Why clay? Clay has always been included in the list of suitable materials for image making. Clay images that are to be used for worship are generally referred to as "mrinmaya" or "mrittika pratima". The clay must only be unbaked clay or "apakva" and rather than "terracotta" or fired clay. It is dried in the sun, maintaining the tradition of unbaked clay called "terracruda".
Clay images are complex and spectacular, take weeks to make and involve several figures set within a supporting framework. Dr. Jim Robinson explains... Read more