Photographer's Note

The entire process of making the idols from the collection of the clay to the ornamentation is a holy process....all supervised by rites and rituals.The clay is collected on the Rath Yatra day from the ganges and this clay has to be mixed with a peck of soil collected from a prostitute's doorstep. After the required rites , these are transported to KUMARTULI---The patuas/ potters then give it a form of Devi Durga.

In the beginning, goddess Durga was cast on a single platform along with her family. In the background was a chalchitra, a semicircular board beautifully decorated with mythological tales. Later, the idols were created on separate platforms, but had a common chalchitra.We see the images today ,idols not only on separate platforms but also with their own chalcitras.The tradition of making idols was earlier handed down from one generation to another. The trend is fading because the artisans do not find it payingT.For the rest of the year, the artisans of Kumartuli earn their livelihood by making lesser deities, along with statues of well-known personalities. There isnít enough money to go by. All they can do is wait for next year.

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Additional Photos by sunandan saha (papon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 240 W: 127 N: 239] (1487)
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