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‘The Adornment of Gods’ by Devdutt Pattanaik: Fascinating narrative of small things

Book Title: The Adornment of Gods: Rare Objects from the Amrapali Jewels Museum

Author: Devdutt Pattanaik

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INDIA’S most famous narrator of mythology, Devdutt Pattanaik’s latest book is a foray into the history of ritual objects. In this book, he narrates stories of 50 antiques from the collection of Jaipur’s Amrapali Museum. Each of these objects is a small but significant part of our history, its motifs and materials offering a unique perspective on our cultural heritage.

The founders of the museum, Rajiv Arora and Rajesh Ajmera, roped in Pattanaik to tell the story of the jewels in their collection after observing his deliberations on myths and legends. They went to him seeking answers to the symbolism and lore that the objects in their own collection had often evoked in them.

From the five elements that have wrought creation, to the subcontinent’s myriad gods and goddesses, our rich flora and fauna, to objects intrinsic to religious rites and rituals, votive offerings, jewellery and decorative objects, the book covers a vast narrative.

Intricate workmanship is the hallmark of each and every item from the collection, with several dating back to the 18th century. While silver, at times paired with copper, dominates the items that are discussed in the book, some objects are in gold too. ‘The Adornment of Gods’ opens our minds to the worlds that these pieces hold within themselves.

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