India / Aiyanar

Since several thousand years back, in Tamil Nadu in South India, they are building
big monolithic ceramic sculptures as gifts to the god Aiyanar.

Aiyanar is the hindu village protecting god and the sculptures are often images of horses,
sometime more than 5 m high, built in one piece and fired in situ.
The horses are to be used by Aiyanar and his men, when riding through the village by night,
protecting it from fire, thieves, drought and illness. 

Besides horses common images are of elephants, cows, Aiyanar himself with his two consorts, Karuppan, Virapattirai etc.
Since many years back we have travelled in Tamil Nadu to study the sculpture technique, visit
Aiyanar temples and get to know the potters/sculptors still making these fantastic terracotta sculptures.

Here you will find a pdf with pictures from India >>

Article about Aiyanar,written by Eva and Åke Nobling 2014 "In Search of Aiyanar" >>
Originally published in April 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly.
Copyright, The American Ceramic Society.
Reprinted with permission.

The photos on this side are also from these journeys, taken by Eva and Åke Nobling.

India horses