Bronze Local Goddess, possibly Jhitku Mitki or Pilubai Mata
Muria People, Bastar, Chhattisgarh, Central India
This well-cast bronze is very much in the tribal tradition. Cast using the lost wax process most probably by the Muria people of Madhya Pradesh in the Dhokra tradition, it portrays a tribal deity. The broad-shouldered deity stands on a cone-like platform. It has four arms. The front pair hold spiral disks and the back two hold an aureole-like structure which is topped by what might be an could well. Beneath is a perch on which two winged birds sit.
The back of the deity is decorated with three long braids of hair. Elsewhere, the deity is covered with strands of jewellery and other decoration.
The image is free standing and has an excellent patina. Most such bronzes are ascribed to the 20th century but the encrusted patina of this example suggests an earlier dating.
Gupta, S.P. (ed.), Masterpieces from the National Museum Collection, National Museum, New Delhi, 1985.Provenance:
UK art market
Inventory no.: 2987