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Kolkata Effigy Makers 4 April 2010_001.JPG

Sculptor Satish Das sits in his workshop in Kumortuli. This is a traditional potters' quarter in northern Kolkata, the capital of the east Indian state of West Bengal. This fascinating district is named for the kumars (sculptors) who create puja effigies of the Hindu gods that will eventually be ritually immersed in the holy Hooghly river. .Straw frames are created, clay is added over it and then fashioned and painted when dry. .After immersion many of the effigies are recovered by the workshops to be re-invigorated for a second use..This Kolkata neighbourhood, not only supplies clay idols of Hindu gods and goddesses to various pujas in Kolkata and its neighbourhoods, but a number of idols are exported overseas..Kumortuli images are generally ordered well in advance and there a few for off-the-shelf sale. Nowadays, Kumortuli's clientele has extended to America, Europe and Africa, among the Indian communities living there. .In 2006, Kumortuli supplied 12,300 clay deities of goddess Durga. This potter's town supplies images to about 90 countries worldwide with new nations joining the list every year. Many East European countries, where religious ceremonies were previously banned, have started buying images from Kumortuli. .Additionally, hundreds of agents in Kolkata service NRIs seeking idols from Kumortuli..In Kolkata, the icon-artisans mostly dwell in poor living conditions however by virtue of their artistic productions these potters have moved from obscurity to prominence. Sculptor Satish Das sits in his workshop in Kumortuli. This is a traditional potters' quarter in northern Kolkata, the capital of the east Indian state of West Bengal. This fascinating district is named for the kumars (sculptors) who create puja effigies of the Hindu gods that will eventually be ritually immersed in the holy Hooghly river. .Straw frames are created, clay is added over it and then fashioned and painted when dry. .After immersion many of the effigies are recovered by the workshops
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