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Kirin Narayan, ‘Cave 10: Myth, Mystery and the Artisans of Ellora’
March 4, 2019 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Ellora, Western India, is a World Heritage Site with 34 magnificent Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temple-caves excavated and sculpted from the mountain’s rock. Ellora Cave 10, a 7th-century Buddhist chaitya hall, or shrine, features a towering seated Buddha sculpted with hands in the dharmachakra mudra (or ‘teaching pose’). This cave has also long been known to locals, pilgrims and art historians as the ‘Vishwakarma Cave’ or the ‘Carpenters’ Hut.’ The deity Vishwakarma, ‘Maker of the Universe,’ is usually depicted with tools and is considered the divine ancestor of artisan communities and protective patron of industrial workers in many regions of India. Speaker Kirin Narayan builds on contemporary ethnographic research on Vishwakarma worship, historical accounts of Ellora and an elaborate mythology featuring Vishwakarma’s presence on the sacred Ellora mountain, using the prism of Cave 10 to recuperate artisans’ perspectives on making and the provocations of mystery.
This event is sponsored by the Carolina Asia Center.