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GB Exclusive Video on Kumartuli – Abode of the Goddess of Clay

18 August, 2019 06:04:31

Curious faces of Durga stared peacefully at the play of clouds across the monsoon sky. Arranged in a row on a muddy pavement, sloshed with a recent sharp shower, they were lying in abundance. 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 all left to dry, the Rain God proved to be an outrageous enemy to hundreds of artisans of Kumartuli. 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.

Kumartuli is not just a prevalent school of idol-making art of Bengal, rather it is a learning hub, that give birth to artisans, instead of ‘making’ them. Artisans who 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. 

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