Temple Potters of Puri Mapin Publishing

Temple Potters of Puri

Louise Allison Cort, Purna Chandra Mishra

The first to describe in detail a community of potters working for the Jagannatha Temple in Puri, eastern India, Temple Potters of Puri explores the role of the temple servant and how it affects the potters’ understanding of their work and of themselves.

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The first to describe in detail a community of potters working for the Jagannatha Temple in Puri, eastern India, Temple Potters of Puri explores the role of the temple servant and how it affects the potters’ understanding of their work and of themselves.
As a pilgrimage centre of national importance, supported by the patronage of successive regional dynasties and by fervent popular belief, the Jagannatha Temple requires earthenware in great quantities for the creation and distribution of the sacred food that is an integral feature of daily ritual and pilgrimage.

Several hundred potters participate as temple servants in maintaining the temple’s ritual cycle by performing their divinely assigned task. This study observes the potters’ technical prowess, sustained by devotion, but also examines the tensions within their relationships to more powerful temple servants and authorities.

The role of the potter as temple servant is at once glorious, as demonstrated by texts and personal interpretations of the potters’ divinely-appointed service, and pathetic, as shown in the brutality of caste-based hierarchy and cash-based exchange penetrating the modern temple’s daily operations.

The accompanying DVD shows the potters at work and records their skills and products as well as the annual festival that celebrates their role as temple servants.

LOUISE ALLISON CORT is Curator for Ceramics at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. She has authored books on historical and modern Japanese ceramics and Japanese baskets.

PURNA CHANDRA MISHRA is an independent researcher. He has collaborated with scholars from Europe and the United States in research projects relating to the religious and cultural traditions of Orissa.

Acknowledgements
Notes on Orthography and the Madala Panji

Introduction – INVISIBLE EARTHENWARE

PART I – POTS IN THE JAGANNATHA TEMPLE
CHAPTER 1 The Jagannatha Temple: Pilgrims, Sacred Food and Temple Servants CHAPTER 2 The Cycle of Pots in the Temple
PART II – THE POTTERS’ COMMUNITY, WORK AND RITUAL
CHAPTER 3 The Village
CHAPTER 4 Gifts of a God: Workshop, Kiln, Tools and Materials
CHAPTER 5 Work Processes
CHAPTER 6 Work Cycles and Life Cycles
CHAPTER 7 Kurala Purana: Origins and Status of the Potters as an Occupational Group CHAPTER 8 Kurala Panchami: Makers, Tools and Processes Sanctified
PART III – THE POTTERS AS TEMPLE SERVANTS
CHAPTER 9 Neli, the Potter’s Wife: The Potter Servants and Their Land
CHAPTER 10 Potter Leadership, the Tada Seba and the Monasteries of Puri
CHAPTER 11 The Potters as Modern Temple Servants: Duties, Rights and Rewards CHAPTER 12 Incorporating Outsiders, Debating Rights and Duties: Recent History of the Potters’ Community

Afterword
Appendix I Technology: Terminology and Procedures Appendix II Repertory of the Kumbhara Bishoi Potters Appendix III Documents
ISBN 9788189995096
Pages 492
Number of photographs 268
Number of illustrations 30 drawings
Size 8.5 x 11" (216 x 280 mm), hc with DVD
Date of Publishing 2013
Language(s) English
Co-publisher(s) Mapin
Rights Available World rights