A Vintage South Indian Golu Doll: Goddess Saraswati

$145.00 USD

mid twentieth century
9 3/4" x 5" x 4", 24.75 cm x 12.75 cm x 10 cm

This good-sized, beautifully rendered and painted molded figure is what is called in South India a golu or kolu.

These figures--and there were many gods and goddesses depicted in the form of golu--were set out in traditional home displays in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh during the nine night Hindu festival called Navratri Navratri is being celebrated this week and ends on 30 September.

This golu depicts the goddess Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of  knowledge, music, arts, letters, wisdom, learning and artistic inspiration. Here she is seen in her typical pose, with one leg bent, sitting high, plucking her veena, a symbol of all the arts and sciences. Saraswati is usually depicted wearing white and, curiously, she is not associated with a male deity as a consort.

Curiously still, she is also worshipped in Japan as Benzaiten, the goddess of everything that flows: water, time, words, speech, eloquence, music and by extension, knowledge.

As can be easily seen on the accompanying detail photographs, this golu shows a good deal of wear, patina and surface damage as her face area is quite worn down.

Still, this is a beautifully collectible image of the inspirational goddess Saraswati showing a good deal of age.