India. The carpenters of Bengal. A Group of Sutars.

India, Dravidian, Sutars, Carpenters, Bengal,
A Group of Sutars, Carpenters, Bengal. Mongolo-Dravidian Type.

A Group of Sutars, Carpenters, Bengal.

Mongolo-Dravidian Type.

The carpenters of Bengal, like other craftsmen, hold a low rank, and Brahmans will not take water from their hands. Besides ordinary work in wood, they carve conch-shells into bracelets, make images of the gods, and paint religious pictures. They are probably recruited from the non-Aryan or indigenous races.

Their chief object of worship is Visvakarma, the divine architect of the Universe, sometimes represented as a white man with three eyes and bearing a club ; but more usually he is symbolised by the tools used by the householder, which are set up and decorated with flowers; offerings are presented to them, and the god is besought to favour his votaries in their profession during the coming year.

From a Photograph received from Rai Bahadur B. A. Gupte.

Source: The people of India: being an attempt to trace the progress of the national mind in its various aspects, as reflected in the nation’s literature from the earliest times to the present day; with copious extracts from the best writers by Herbert H. Risley. Published by William Crooke. Calcutta 1915.

Illustration, damasks, ornament


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