Indian Museum, Kolkata : Virtual Exhibitions Ancient Indian Terracottas

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   Ancient Indian Terracottas

Ever since the emergence of human, there have been constant effort and attempts to improve the ease and convenience for existence. The result was the discovery of terracotta pottery, used for storage purposes and terracotta bricks utilized for construction of shelters to live comfortably. Subsequently with the surplus production of food grains human devoted time to the creation of art activities through the plastic medium of terracotta. Consequently, terracotta became the first and major medium of creative expression of human mind. The word terracotta means "baked clay" or "fired earth". Since the inception of societies in ancient India, terracotta bears testimony of man's civilization.

Ancient terracotta has been a pulsating life force for the people of India. The excavations of Harappa and Mohenjodaro civilizations authenticated the fact. The Indians mastered this art to cater to their every necessity and has gained a lot of prominence. They handled it with great skill to mould the clay with their hands To form various things, which covers a wide range of daily used household utensils, pottery, toys, human figures, jewelries, ornamental designs on temples, panels and other valued objects of utility to deities of worship and votive figures.

The predominance of the ancient Indian terracotta art is generally witnessed in the Indian subcontinent. It surpasses the chronicles of time and occupies a central position in Indian life as a significant aesthetic indicator of culture.