Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bombe Mane Pictures

Bombe Mane is an annual exhibition of dolls started by Ramsons Kala Pratishtana in 2005 on the occassion of Dasara. This year's Bombe Mane was inaugurated by well known theatre personality, Smt. Prema Karanth in the presence of senior journalist, Sri Krishna Vattam on 5 Octber at Pratima Gallery. Here are a few pictures from this year's Bombe Mane. Hope you enjoy them.

This picture shows the main arrangement of three steps. The topmost step is reserved for pattada gombe, Raja-Rani, the traditional dolls which represent king and queen. On the lowermost step the brass icon with a scimitar and a serpent in hands is the demon king Mahishasura who was slayed by goddess Chamundeshwari. Mysuru gets its name from this demon. This icon is a miniature replica of the stucco sculpture, installed atop Chamundi Hill, the unofficial mascot of Mysuru.

This arrangement depicts the model of Mysore palace (Amba Vilasa) in front of which are small wooden figures of yogis in various yogasanas (yoga postures). The Dasara procession in the foreground is an assembly of dolls that have been crafted after the murals in the Karikallu Thotti of the palace.
All these dolls are in the collection of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana.


Sandy Carlson said...

Thanks for posting these very beautiful photographs. They are a nice addition to your narrative. The shape of the king and queen in the top photo remind me of the matryoishka dolls from Russia. (These are the nesting dolls that are a metaphor of the continuity of life through the mother.) The second made me think of the creche scenes that Christians put out during Advent. They often reflect the environment of the persons who own them. Africans have an African holy family, Europeans have a European one, etc. Also, the environment reflects the environment of the creator. This has me thinking dolls and such diaramas are forms of meditation, as they are in the stories you tell. Thanks for sharing the story and the images.

claytonia vices said...

Hi Raghu, in your previous post, you said that Bombe Mane is actually losing it's popularity. Do you think it could be because these dolls haven't evolved to suit present day tastes and interests of people? Would they become more popular if dolls are made which also resemble todays famous personalities?

Just a passing thought.

If there are sponsored Bombe Mane contests, it would certainly create more interest among people!

Raghu said...

@ Sandy: Hi Sandy, your comment is thought provoking and it has made me look at dolls from a new perspective. You've told that the king and queen dolls in the picture reminds you of matroyshka dolls. Matroyshka dolls, as you've said, are nested dolls and contain five to eleven dolls within them. But the king-queen dolls here are solid individual dolls and can't be opened up like matroyshka.

@ Claytonia: No, dolls are losing popularity not because they are old styled, but rather because of lack of publicity, awareness and presentation. People buy Barbie and GI Joe dolls made of plastic paying few hundreds of rupees but do not want to buy handcrafted wooden dolls because they are not marketed glamourously and not available in malls. What I have seen at Bombe Mane is that people are passionate about dolls, that too old styled. Dolls are not available anymore as widely as before.

Lulli said...

You write very well.