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Celebration of Charak Puja

Early to mid- 19th century
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
In the late eighteenth century, Bengali artists began producing sets of paintings on thin, flexible sheets of mica for the burgeoning colonial tourist market. Local festivals were an especially popular subject, as this two painting illustrates. Charak Puja is a Hindu festival observed in southern Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. During Charak Puja, a select group of worshippers are strung on hooks and swung by rope from a wooden pole, a devotional act intended to satisfy the great lord Shiva. By representing this impassioned ritual event in such a quaint manner and on such a small scale, artists may have been trying to make Bengal's unfamiliar cultural terrain more palatable for European patrons.

Object Details

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