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Author: Krishna Datta
Publisher: Niyogi Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789385285134
This book is a tribute to the image-makers of Kumortuli, as well as a social and cultural account of Durga Puja-the most important religious festival of Bengal.
The potter community of Kolkata, the kumors as they are colloquially known, are more than what the name suggests they are artists. Tangible images of deities that form the crux of Hindu worship, find shape in the hands of these artisans, who, with sheer dedication to the craft, have kept the tradition alive for generations. It is a fascinating experience to observe how clay, straw, bamboo and other ingredients bit by bit transforms into tactile human forms which are then infused with divinity through different rituals.
Durga Puja, on the other hand, is not only the major religious festival of Bengal but has also evolved into a cultural extravaganza. From the point of view of sheer vastness and magnitude of organizational mobilization, it is comparable only to the global impact of Christmas.
Through vivid photographs and absorbing text, the book captures Kolkata's spirit of artistic creativity and spiritual ecstasy, embodied in these ephemeral constructs of clay, straw and bamboo. It also sensitively documents Bengal's unique and most enduring cultural heritage of image worship.
The Process of Idol-making
Chalchitra, Sholapith and the Changes
The Origin and the History of Durga Puja in Kolkata
Stories of Durga, Parvati and Uma
The Myth of the Churning of the Ocean
Some Aspects of Hindu Worship
The British Museum Durga Puja