31. Large Water Pot
Height: 19.5 cm
Catalogue number 31.
Accession number 88.313.
Water pots perform a wide range of functions, both ritually and as domestic utensils. Small water pots are used for washing feet and bathing; larger ones are used to store water for cooking, drinking, or for washing offerings in the home shrine. Water pots store holy water from the Ganga, most sacred of the Indian rivers, used for special rituals.
Such pots, filled with water and earth, are used to give form to goddesses during home rituals. They are decorated with brightly colored patterns made of rice powder, sandalwood, and vermilion; whole fruits such as mangoes, coconuts, and bananas, leaves, and flowers are placed on top, and the pots are garlanded with flowers. In this way they are transformed into the deity and prepared to receive worship in the same way as are anthropomorphic images.
The donor identifies no. 31 as from Dhamrai, near Dhaka.
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