Putting on a good face Kaiga, 150215

February 20, 2015

As we finished our birding transect and came back towards the backwaters of the Kali river, in the Virje area, I found this figure in the courtyard of a little home.


Thinking that it was, possibly, an effigy created for burning, I went up to it to photograph it. Then, two ladies emerged from the house and said something to me that I could not understand. I was wondering if they did not like my photographing it. But no..it was just the reverse!

Apparently, they had put the “face” of the figure inside; they obliged me by bringing the face out.


I got them fitting the face to the figure.


Then it was in place, and this lovely figure beamed at me!


I clicked Soumyashree with Mr Toothy Grin!


I was told that the figure had been made for the jAthrE (ritual religious procession) of the Ganapathi temple nearby.



But I could not, still, understand, whether it was an effigy meant to burnt (as effigies depicting evil are burnt.) However, I enjoyed the eyes and the teeth of that face, and the interesting, rotund figure…and walked on my way, half my questions answered, and the other half, unanswered, feeding my imagination.

Does this figure represent one of the devotees of this temple? After the jAthrE was over, why was the effigy carried to this home? How long will it stay there….will it disintegrate on its own, or be dismantled later? Questions to which I might, perhaps, have got anwers,if I’d been able to stay longer and talk to the ladies. Now…unless someone from the area helps me with the facts….they will all remain in the realm of speculation; and I can perhaps weave stories of my own. ..you are so good at this...what do you think is the story of this "eye-tooth", obviously male, effigy?