Kali – Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 19

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 19

Pushkar Camel Fair

This costumed character was photographed at the Pushkar Camel Fair in October, 2014. We believe that she (or he?) represents the Hindu black goddess Kali, worshiped in India especially in South India, Bengal, and Assam. Kali is a manifestation of the terrible goddess Durga, who is herself the dark side of the goddess Devi (wife of Shiva).

There are many stories, or traditions, about Kali’s origin and behavior. In one version, the baby heads hanging from her neck represent the heads of demons she killed and ate. In a Bengali version, they are the decapitated heads of children.

This character is also showing attributes of Durga: many arms and the bowl to hold the blood of those she has killed. In this case, the bowl conveniently holds tips.

While we frequently see costumed street artists in European cities, this creative, multi-facilitated presentation was extraordinary and well worth capturing in a photograph.

(With apologies for any inaccuracies in describing Hindu traditions)




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