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Monday, 4 November, 2002, 18:37 GMT
Secrets of the Durga Puja sculptures
The making of Hindu sculptures
The shape of the sculptures is made from straw
Craftsmen from India are demonstrating how they make sculptures which are worshipped in Hindu festivals.

People in Wales have never before been able to see how the models are put together.

Nimai Chandra Paul
Nimai Chandra Paul is a master craftsman

The fortnight-long project will demonstrate the step-by-step construction of the life-size clay statues of Durga, the mother goddess.

The statues, which are made from straw and clay, are worshipped in the Durga-Puja, the biggest celebration in north east India.

The Creating Durga event was launched in Cardiff on the same day as the Diwali festival of lights, another Hindu festival.

Live demonstrations of the creation of five sculptures are being held in the city centre at the Old Library.

Roma Choudhury, member of the Wales Puja Committee said: "This is a fantastic chance for people to come and see how these images are created.


This is the first time in Wales that people can see how the statues are created

Roma Choudhury, Wales Puja Committee

"Durga-Puja is a four-day festival to worship Durga, the mother goddess," she said.

The images are created from clay which has been brought over specially from the banks of the River Ganges.

"Craftsmen take months to prepare the models and sell them to worshippers for the four-day festival," said Ms Choudhury.

"After the celebrations, the images are put into the river to go back to nature, and the process starts again the following year.

"This keeps the traditions alive and provides a livelihood for the craftsmen, which helps the community," she added.

Layers of clay are built up on the sculptures
Layers of clay are built up on the sculptures

For the last 12 years, the committee has been importing the clay images from Calcutta to celebrate the religious festival in Cardiff.

"This is the first time in Wales that people can see how the statues are created from the raw material right through to the finished piece," said Ms Choudhury.

"Once the images are completed they will be displayed at the National Museum and Gallery of Wales.

"We will keep them until next year's festival is held in October," she added.

The Creating Durga event is held at the Old Library, Cardiff until 15 November.


More from south east Wales
See also:

08 Oct 02 | South Asia
26 Oct 01 | Wales
23 Oct 02 | Wales
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