Lajja Gauri

The theme Lajja Gauri

The Fertility Goddess Lajja Gauri appears in the earliest prehistoric testimonies. The Lajja Gauri attitude represented through the symbols M+V and the Swastika appear at Mezin, Ukraine, at the time of the Ice age, carved on several mammoth ivory objects clearly associated with the phallic cult dedicated to the goddess of sexuality. These symbols and figurative representations from the cultures of the Black Sea will migrate and reach all the ancient world: prehistoric Egypt, neolithic Western China, the Near East, the Indus Valley, Western Europe and even the Easter Island. The Lajja Gauri attitude, a nude goddess legs spread apart and exposing her sexual organs, is associated with the matriarchal fertility cult dominant in the ancient civilisations from the earliest age of humanity until the 3rd millennium bc. It represents an explicit invitation to sexual intercourse, with the purpose of procreation, in societies concerned by the survival of the human species.

In the following picture gallery Lajja Gauri is shown in a birthing posture but does not display the swollen belly of one about to give birth, which suggests that the image is of sexual fecundity. The lotus flower in place of her head makes this association with fertility explicit. This expression of the concept of the female body as the embodiment of life-affirming forces is perhaps the most extreme in Indian iconography. At her left is a diminutive kneeling figure, undoubtedly the donor. This miniature sculpture was reportedly found in the Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, central India. Such imagery is rare and confined to the first millennium in central India and the Deccan.

The Sculpture

This sculpture has been created in clay, and cast into amber-coloured glass, using the lost-wax method. It was initially conceived as a part of “The Stag” sculpture, an assemblage of metal structure, deer antlers, a crystal glass element and plaster abdomen. While the antlers represent fertility and rebirth for the male part of the “Stag” sculpture (the metal frame plus deer antlers) the artist wanted to introduce an imagery associated with abundance and fertility in the female parts that were to slot onto the male frame. The lower abdomen of the stagbeetle therefore, containing the reproductive parts of the species, presents its protective amour on one side and the representation of the deity on the other.

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