ritual & belief: representations; flute

Copper alloy model flute for a Krishna figure, with a ring and two balls at the end.

Normally used in conjunction with figures of the dancing Krishna and bought by devotees to both adorn and serve their Krishna deity at home. A flute such as this could be bought from one of the numerous devotional stores in Indian holy towns associated with Krishna and would be available in different finishes and embellishments. A devotee would match the size of the flute to the dimensions of his/her deity figure’s hands so that the flute can be easily placed in the figure’s hands and removed during a meal and at bedtime. Such acts of personalisation and intimacy ensure that the deity figure is treated like a sentient being and that the ‘murti’ or deity image is accorded the same considerations given to a royal human.

Collection Information

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