Notes attached: "Mother Goddess, Terracotta, Sheikh Yusuf, Gandhara, Pakistan, c.1st century BC-1st century AD" "Mother Goddess, Terracotta, Charsada-Shaikan Dheri, Pakistan, c.2nd century B.C, IS20a-1951 D.H.Gordon: J.I.S.O.A. Vol. XI 1943, Pl.XVI No.3. Guy, John (ed.). ‘L’Escultura en els Temples Indis: L’Art de la Devocio’, Barcelona : Fundacio ‘La Caixa’, 2007. ISBN 9788476649466. p.49, cat. 5.
This diminutive figure is robustly modelled in fired clay in the from of a seated woman, with her two hands supporting her breasts, which are open. This fragmentary object once formed the spout to a terracotta vessel. The openings are so positioned that the liquid would have flowed as if from the figurine’s breasts. One may speculate that a vessel with such a pouring device might have been intended for worship ceremony requiring ritual lustration. The pouring, as if from a woman’s breasts, would evoke the bringing of fertility, nourishment and succour. The figure is seated with her feet crossed and wears a skirt length above her knees; jewellery in the from of a necklace or torque, bracelets and earplugs and a headdress are all modelled in applied clay. This device of breasts as fountains is seen in the late Classical world, and though not common in the medieval Indian world, does appear elsewhere in the later Hindu world, at ritual bathing places in Java and Bali.