dojne putul (Doll)

About this object

History of use

Bengali potters of the (Kumara) Kumbhakara caste are heirs to a long tradition in village and urban areas. Production of clay pots and vessels for everyday use is their regular occupation. However, images for votive offerings are also important and are variously represented as fertility figures, protective symbols (horses, elephants), or gods. The animal and human figures sold as toys have a close affinity in shape and character to the votive images. In fact, the same image often fulfills both purposes.

Cultural context


Iconographic meaning

Bird-mother motif. Ancient image associated with theriomorphic figures of ancestral bird deities.

Physical description

A small clay figure painted yellow with a simple modelled form. Head is with a pinched face that has black dot eyes and a red mouth. Knot of black hair at the top back. Probably male torso with a minimum suggestion of arms. Decorated with a red 'x' across the chest, a horizontal red line around the neck, two horizontal red lines around the lower portion of the body, and red-tipped arms.