Wood Carvings

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Wood carving gallery

Wood was widely used for the architectural and sculptural art from very ancient time. Because of its plasticity and smooth texture it afforded possibilities to the wood carver to devise various artistic forms and designs, which were from time to time elaborated and refined under the impact of various styles.  Museum possesses only one specimen of classical period from Markula Devi temple at Udaipur dating back to 8th century. The image represents Durga as Mahishasuramardini  and is carved in the mould of  the famous Lakshna Devi  image of  Bharmour. The images of Shiva and Parvati from Duttnagar are sublime pieces of folk art.  The artist has carved them in the likeness of village folk and dressed them in the costumes of his village. Shiva wears a skull cap and holding a rattle drum sits astride his Nandi who looks more like a village pony. Parvati wearing a wheel skirt and covering her head stands with folded hands  facing the viewer. Another view of folk art carved in bass relief is the panel depicting two peacocks confronting each other betwixt a blooming tree. carved out of single block of wood the square wooden pillars from Chaupal shows ghatpallva motif transformed into pot of nectar  guarded by four soul birds placed at four corners. The cult of mask is very ancient though no earlier specimens are extent in Himachal Pradesh and the masks which are on display here are from Dattnagar and pertain to 17th-18th century.  The masks represent the persona or the other mind or a certain ambigious factor in the lives of the village folks. The masks are used in the rituals of dance or dance dramas, the underlying theme of which is the victory of good over the evil or the spring over the cruel long and harsh winter often represented by an old witch