In Search of Vishwakarma: Mapping Indian Craft Histories
Edited by Vijaya Ramaswamy
  • ISBN : 9789352908394
  • year : 2019
  • language : English
  • binding : Hardbound
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‘The Indian craftsman conceives of his art, not as the accumulated skill of ages, but as originating in the divine skill of Vishwakarma and revealed by him’, wrote Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, in his book The Indian Craftsman. For the traditional Indian craftsman, crafts and worship have a symbiotic relationship. Vishwakarma is both God and man, the divine architect of the Gods and the God of craftsmen, worshipped by all the artisanal communities, across the country. He is both signifier and signified. Vishwakarma is ‘the sum total of consciousness, the group soul of individual craftsmen of all times and places’ and simultaneously a community of craftsmen living their everyday lives—crafting icons and building monumental structures, while struggling to eke out a living as artisans. This volume on the conception and perceived realities of the Vishwakarma seeks to explore the hermeneutics of ‘Vishwakarma’ and to document a rich tapestry of images as well as historical information regarding crafts and craftsmen through the ages.