Title Dakshin-Ray
Accession Number 64.1774
Title2 Lord of Tigers
Museum Name National Museum, New Delhi
Gallery Name Anthropology
Object Type Anthropology
Main Material Terracotta
Manufacturing Technique Terracotta, painted
Country India
Origin Place Sunderbans, West Bengal
Period / Year of Work 20th century CE
Dimensions Ht. 41 cms (approx.)
Brief Description This is a painted terracotta representing the Lord of the Tigers.
Detailed Description The deity, known as "Lord of the South" or the "God of Tiger", is worshipped after the harvesting is over (i.e. from December to January) in the West Bengal region. It is in the form of a pained head with a pyramidal crown, geometric pattern. The Dakshin-Ray is worshipped by all those who enter the Sunderban forests of West Bengal, for subsistence, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. It is believed that worshipping the deity is necessary for the safe passage of the people passing through these forests. The puja (ritual) for this deity is followed by the Zatal ceremony. This day is also meant for the annual collection of the taxes by the headman. It is believed that if a boatman passes through a southern river or if a fisherman catches fish in any of these tanks or a woodcutter exploits the southern forest products, all of them had to offer puja to this deity. The money thus collected from this puja was considered as tax and taken by the headman.