A mount for the gods
votive terracotta horses as guardians of territory
Poshina & Bodeli (Gujarat)
Fashioned from clay, they are found across the Indian subcontinent
left in sacred groves and forests, on barren slopes and summits of hills,
and tied to trees or fences.
Gifts for the gods,
these sentinels are intended as mounts for the gramadevtas,
the guardians who protect the village.
The horse is believed to have first come to India
from Central Asia in the second millennium BC,
carrying the so-called Aryans into the subcontinent.
Seen as the most prized and powerful offering to the gods,
they embody the desire or fulfilment of wishes
– for successful journeys, timely rains, curing of diseases, and safe childbirth.
The figures are left exposed to the elements,
slowly to return to the earth.