Wood Carving in Southern Indian Continent
Reprinted from: Honar Nameh, University of Art, Tehran, No. 16, Fall 2002 (A brief of the article)
The Indian Subcontinent is one of the vastest fertile regions in Asia. The fertility and plenty in this land has been the source of vast population and has attracted many migrations.
Despite the ensuring diversity, the warm, humid and rainy climate of the continent, it has been the source of many artistic and cultural similarities among different ethnic groups.
One of the best examples of this commonality is the art of wood carving that is one of the most significant and authentic arts of this region. It is the manifestation of an inseparable tie that binds together art, architecture, culture and religion.
While plentiful supply is provided for the architects, strong religious believes, an inclination toward decoration, and an oral culture based on myriad symbols and myths, have strongly inclined native architecture toward decoration.
Consequently, the same architects that build the houses, temples, gods' chariots and palaces, also do the wood carving in these wooden buildings.
Because religion and culture in India are based on Hinduism, a religion that is highly dependent on symbols and myths, the art of wood carving is influenced by it, too.
Motifs and figures in this art form are all dependent on Hindu religious narratives. This the art of wood carving in the Southern subcontinent of India serves as a bridge between Hindu religion and architecture.