Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Dasara Doll

Devi awaits her servant.
Wrists and elbows, now stiff or dislocated,
will be bent to bless, hold vessel or sword.
Bare limbs and head will be dressed,
ornaments blaze in the colours of divine moods.
Then the eyes will take on kindness or anger,
the mouth grimace or smile.
Others will pronounce her names.
She who holds such power of transformation,
the lady of the house,
is she herself the goddess
or her most intimate friend?
- Dr. Rowena Hill,
Poet, Venezuela

Dr. Rowena Hill is a poet from Venezuela who stayed in Mysore during her higher studies. She used to visit Mysore often, even after completing her studies. She currently resides in Venezuela. During her last visit to Mysore in Dasara 2006, she visited Bombe Mane. There she was intrigued by a doll whose limbs were detachable so that it could be dressed up in different costumes for different days during Dasara. She wrote the above poem as a tribute to that doll.

This doll is called 'keelu gombe' or 'keelu gowri' has been crafted in Kinhala, a hamlet near to Koppala district headquarters in Karnataka. This doll has been crafted by the master craftsman Sri Ekappa Chitragar.