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Revelry, Rivalry, and Longing for the Goddesses of BengalThe Fortunes of Hindu Festivals$
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Rachel Fell McDermott

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231129190

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231129190.001.0001

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The Artistry of Durgā and Jagaddhātrī

The Artistry of Durgā and Jagaddhātrī

(p.103) 4 The Artistry of Durgā and Jagaddhātrī
Revelry, Rivalry, and Longing for the Goddesses of Bengal

Rachel Fell McDermott

Columbia University Press

This chapter introduces another key element of Durgā Pūjā: the association with agriculture. Prior to an in-depth look at the iconographic development of the Pūjā images, this chapter discusses the earlier forms into which the Goddess was invoked: water, grains, and plants. That the anthropomorphized Pūjā images were late iconographically proves that the martial aspects of the festival were likely grafted onto an earlier rite connected with the rhythms and products of the autumnal harvest. Two larger themes contextualize and illuminate the evolution under survey: the history of the sexualized Indian female icon, and the intersection of goddess portrayals with Indian nationalism.

Keywords:   Durgā Pūjā, iconographic development, anthropomorphized Pūjā images, evolution, Indian nationalism, Indian female icon

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