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Water vessel (ganga-jumna lota)



Copper, brass and silver
19th century
The body of this holy water vessel is constructed from copper and brass, a technique unique to India. Known as a Ganga-Jumma it represents the contrasting colours of the Ganges and Jumna rivers. The silver bosses portray stylised lotus, possibly alluding to the goddess Saraswati who is often depicted by a white lotus. Lotas are found all over India, the materials they are made from indicate the status of the individual they were made for; the cheapest would be terracotta, then brass and bronze. Gunga-Jumma and precious metals would be reserved for rich families or temples
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