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20th Century

Place of Origin: Bastar, Madhya Pradesh
Materials: Wood, alloy
Dimensions: Lt. 13 cm. (approx.)
Acc. No. 64.1642

A rectangular, stylized and carved wooden comb with metallic equestrian figures of warriors (probably jousting with each other) fixed on the crest of the comb. These figures probably represent 'Rao', the powerful sprit of the hills and are believed to be the gods of the hill peaks and passes. These motifs stand for vigour and are also believed to empower the wearer with magical powers to protect him from evil forces. The comb is given as a gift from the motiari (girl) to the chelik (boy), during the period of their stay in the ghotul or youth dormitory. This comb is usually worn by the male members of the community. It is a taboo to use someone else's comb and it is believed that this might cast an evil spell on the person who does so.

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