Author: Eberhard Fisher
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8173050953
This monograph Murals for Goddesses and Gods is a magnificent document of India’s ritual painting, based on systematic study of the osakothi (osa penance, kothi sacred space) murals of Orissa. It explores the rare, rich and meaningful and fast disappearing ritual art of mural painting. The antiquity of this art can be traced to the prehistoric rock-cave paintings of Mirzapur, Singhapuri, Bhimbetka, Jhiri, and elsewhere in India. A close parallel is seen in the contemporary ritual relating to Rathwa mural paintings. In both cases there is transformation and re-enlivenment of the visual image.
This materials are organized in seven chapters in the following order: the sources for ritualistic folk paintings in south Orissa and the worship of painted icons; the osakothi custom, terms and legends; the osakothi ritual; the painters of osakothi shrines, their communities and major works; and contemporary trends in the osakothi tradition. By way of general observation the authors make a broad claim about its uniqueness, similarities and historic connection with other traditions in and around Orissa.
To the authors of this carefully researched and richly illustrated monograph, the osakothi complex is one of India’s finest living traditions concerning around annually produced folk murals of goddesses and gods, unrecorded so far.
Prefaced by Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, a foremost authority on Indian art and culture, this work will fascinate not only the students of art, religions and Indian civilization but also everyone with an inquiring mind.