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Mother and child

Dynasty : Pala, Bengal
Period : Late Medieval 1000 CE
Material : Stone
Location : National Museum
Current Location : National Museum
Description :
The Pala Empire originated from 8th to 10th century CE and controlled the regions of Bihar and Bengal. The name Pala is the synonym for ‘protector’ and was used as an ending to the names of all Pala monarchs. The founder of the Pala dynasty is Gopala. The administration during Pala dynasty introduced feudal economy due to which trade declined and an agro economy flourished. Their administration was monarchical in nature and social conditions were quite peaceful. Art and architecture was highly encouraged which was identified by Pala School of Sculptural Art. Both Buddhism and Hinduism existed in the period. Slab carved in high relief showing a mother child. In the centre, the mother is reclining on a cushioned seat supporting her head on a pillow and her left hand. In the right raised hand, she holds the stem of a lotus. A child is shown lying flat to her left, with raised knees. The mother is profusely ornamented and wears a tiara-like head-dress, circular earrings with floral motifs, heavy necklace, armlets, bracelets, yajnopavita, a broad girdle with tassels and anklets. Her costume consists of a scarf around the shoulders, stanottariya, and a lower garment reaching to the ankles. A kneeling female attendant is rubbing her raised left foot. The hair of the mother is tied into a large loop behind the head. The sides of the cot are carved with creeper designs. To the proper right, stands a female chauri-bearer on a full-blown lotus, in the tribhanga posture, her left hand resting on the hip. To the extreme left, on a full-blown lotus, stands another female attendant holding a fan in her raised right hand, while her left hand is placed on the hip. Her legs are crossed. On the top is a frieze of seated figures depicting the navagrahas on double-lotus pedestals, flanked by a Siva linga to the left and Ganesha and another figure to the right. Below the cot is another frieze is depicting a cymbal player, a drummer and a dancer in the middle; two female kneeling figures with folded hands to the right; and a large bowl, purnaghata etc. to the left.