South Indian Temple Dancer

This life-size sculpture of a dancer draped in green brocade sari gestures as though keeping the time cycle or beat in a music recital. Possibly, she represents a singer.Devadasis (servants of God) were women dancers who were dedicated to the service and veneration of the deity in the Hindu temple. They were considered auspicious by virtue of their marriage to the deity of the temple. They were also learned in the classical arts and religious practices. Such life-like representations were carved and painted as part of the ritual for decorating temples and palaces. They were also collected by European colonial clients who saw them as curiosities to be acquired. This 19th century wooden sculpture is from Karnataka, South India.

Indigenous Name
19th century
Dharavad district, Karnataka, south India
Object size: 138 x 45 cm
Accession No.
Lacquer, wood, polychrome paint
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Purchased with funds donated by Hwang Soo Jin

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