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Indian Sculpture


Without getting back to the reason behind the efforts of primitive men to make the sculpture, we can consider the 'power of imagination' of each human soul whose blessing helped to form the sculpture. In the earlier stage of the Indian human civilization, sculptures were set mainly in the figure of animals, the same as the history of painting. The statues of that era were divided into two customs. One is for the child to play, and the next is for the adults for worship purposes. If we come away with a more profound observation, it would be clear that the imagination of those primitive humans regarding their adorable God was very close to the shape of an animal. Such a conception had been running for an uncertain era, which reached the Egyptian civilization and later transformed into another form.

Primitive artists

Sculptures that were made for worship had been divided again into two categories. One was 'Totem' and the other, 'Tabu.' Totem figures were believed to bring well-being to humans, while Tabu figures were considered harmful. Over time, both categories were transformed into abstract forms of animals and birds, similar to the Sphinx of Egypt. However, this concept can still be seen in several sculptures founded on solid grammar and adhering to Hindu tradition in India.

Scholars acknowledge that the materials used for ancient sculptures were initially soil, later upgraded with stone and metal. To enhance the strength and durability of the clay model, it was subjected to heat and fired in a kiln. It took humanity more than a millennium to transition into the stone age.

As this evolution progressed, the sense of form gradually developed, incorporating various regulations, myths, local and religious cultures, and even traditional beliefs. The doctrines and philosophies of these cultures are evident in sculptures and paintings worldwide, depending on their geographic location.

Goddess figures. Baluchistan, Indus, 3000–2500 B.C.

The motherland of ancient Hindu civilization and culture was Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, where historians found a lot of evidence of sculpture that amazed them. Those pieces of evidence proved there was a traditional systematic concept, and some grammatical aphorisms dominated this creative section significantly; however, the origin of those grammatical concepts needed to be clarified. Due to an undefined reason, historians stated that the progress of those sculptures was suspended, and the artistic sense became inadequate in Mohenjo Daro. But in Harappa, we can see some well-structured torsos that grabbed viewers' attention. Some scholars concluded that the standard of those torsos reached up to the label of Greek sculpture! Although this claim may be overstated, it remains true that the torsos in Harappa are unlike any Greek statues.

After the era of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, none of the similar expressions or styles were embraced in the Indian sculptures except Gandhara art. But later, historians undoubtedly affirmed that the sculptures of Sindhu Valley were widely inspired by the notion of Indian sculpture, which acquired the highest label in Patliputra (Behar). Such a tradition slowly turned into a pathway from West to Eastern India. It reached the Patliputra by following the valley of the river Ganga. 

Statue of ancient Hindu civilization

Assuming the recorded history after the Aryan era, historians tried to get evidence from the

Shishunaga dynasty of BC 662 century. They discovered that before the said dynasty, 16 powerful states had mastery over India. After the Aryan era, the social culture and tradition of exotic civilization, such as the worship of fire, rain, clouds, and air, drinking Somras (a kind of natural alcohol), Yagna (a type of worship with burning fire), all have influenced widely to the ancient native Indian tradition. As an outcome, the traditional concept of sculpture, painting, and other streams of artistry had been changed and achieved perfection. It affirmed a standard rule that stood in the concrete platform of direct experience. It answered all the 

questions beginning with Why, How, etc. Now it’s time to get exposed to all the secrets hidden behind Indian sculpture.

*Image Resource -Goddess Figures ( The Collector )

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