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Anthropology

Dakshin-Ray

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Dakshin-Ray
20th Century

Place of Origin: West Bengal
Materials: Terracotta
Dimensions: Ht. 41 cm. (approx.)
Acc. No. 64.1774

The deity, known as "Lord of the South" or the "God of Tiger", is worshipped after the harvesting is over (i.e. from December to January) in the West Bengal region. It is in the form of a painted head with geometric patterns over the pyramidal crown. The Dakshin-Ray is worshipped by all those who enter the Sunderban forests of West Bengal, for subsistence, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. It is believed that worshipping the deity is necessary for the safe passage of the people passing through these forests. The puja (ritual) for this deity is followed by the Zatal ceremony. This day is also meant for the annual collection of the taxes by the headman. It is believed that if a boatman passes through a southern river or if a fisherman catches fish in any of these tanks or a woodcutter exploits the southern forest products, had to offer puja to this deity. The money thus collected by this puja is considered as tax and taken by the headman.

Other Related Exhibits

Head Gear
Sarod Type Stringed Instrument
Bhairon Dev
Ear-decoration
Peshwaj of Chamba's Rani Sahiba Baji
Joji (Cap)
Dakshin-Ray
Scroll painting showing Mahishasurmardini
Haversac
Comb
The Lord of Soil (sabdag)