A Living Portrait of India
India used to have an international reputation for her brass and bell
metal work. The technology of metalworking had been well developed by
2500 B.C. This manifested itself in exquisite yet sturdy images and
icons in temples and household niches, lamps, platters and other items
required for acts of worship, in gold, silver, copper, brass, bronze,
and other mixed metals and alloys. The world-famous dancing figure of
Nataraja, a work in the Chola tradition, epitomises this achievement.
Villages from Tamil Nadu mould and assemble brass oil-lamps (dipa),
standing as well as hanging ones, adorned with decorative swans or women.