Votiv Horse from Gujarat, Big
Gujarat, a state in northwest India, has a large number of tribals with a distinctive culture and lifestyle. Offerings of terracotta figures to theire gods is one of them. Specially in the North of Gujarat, near the border to Rajastan, are natural sanctuaries where votive terracotta horses are offered by the tribals to appease a god- that he will fulfill some wishes and hopes. The horse is a noble animal, beloved of the gods. His ethnical and historical background goes back into antiquity.
The potters who made the horses are of the Variya and Guvjar caste. They sell the horses also to other peoples but their main customers are the tribals. Some tribals make also figures by themselves, but with the same technique like the village potters. The only difference is that the potter´s forms are fired in a kiln and the tribal´s forms are unbaked. In the north of Gujarat the clay is excellent for working on th wheel, the reason why theses figures have hollow forms.
The offerings are individually or collective. For small offerings they place the horse together with the wish and some other small goods like fruits at the sancturary. Bigger wishes normal will make not in advance, but afterwards. Here many people join the procession from the potters house to the sanctuary with a lot other of goods like flowers and food. The entire process – from the order at the potters house untill the offering is made is governed by strict rules. The horse are made only for this special purpose and after all they are destroyed by theire outdoor life in sun, wind and rain.
Handmade, Terracotta, Burned in an non-electric kiln. Big size with tail
Small size: Lenght around 48 cm, Width around 12 cm