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06/28/10

Painted Earth Goddesses: Some Thousands Years Continuation of Tradition

By Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt


Thanks to Dawood Jabari, Mosa Ameri, Fatemeh Makina, Sadraldin Sadri, Mohamd Amin Najafizadeh, Mohsen and Mohamad Saied Zarei

 

Recently a sinkhole was dug in my garden. I found some dark blue mud and used it for making the statues. I also used Hormoz red dirt to paint them, they turn red when baked.  The final color is very similar to the red color of ancient earthenware.

 

Statues made out of mud and painted by Hormoz red dirt

 

 

Unfortunately in our village of Polour, many ancient earthenware and relics are nearly destroyed.

 

I have discovered about 200 historical castles.

 

A fragment of a historical tile

 

 

In 1986 I traveled to Minab, in southern Iran, and bought a clay statue from a traditional market that was painted by Hormoz red dirt.

 

 

 

 

Traditional toy for children, made of dirt and painted by Hormoz red soil

 

The archetype of painted statues can be traced back to prehistoric goddesses

 

Prehistoric mother goddess painted by colored dirt

 

 

Prehistoric Goddess made from a mold

 

 

Historical pottery that shows a pattern printed by seal

 

 

Some prehistoric Rhyton painted by colored soil

 

 

Fragmented pottery painted by colored dirt

 

 

Nomad children usually make their statues with clay.

 

 

Photo by Raheleh Zomorodina

 

In 2006, at The Persian Gulf environmental Art Festival, I suggested the students to make status and relief out of clay

 

 

 

In the 18th Environmental Art Festival in Polour, I also recommend dirt to be used for environmental installation.

 

In this festival some of the works were decorated by Hormoz red soil.

 

 


In autumn of 2009 I visited some handcraft workshops in Minab, and I bought a new statue of a camel.

 

 

In Minab I noticed that some subject matter that wouldn't elsewhere, for example monkeys are not found anymore.

 



 Small mill, toy for children

 

 

Kiln for baking pottery and statues.

Photo by Mohamad Amin Najafizadeh

 

According to a research by Mohsen Zareai, most of the artists who made these statues were women.

 

 

 Kolsom Fakhari is one of the oldest women in Minab who made the statues.

 

 

Photo by Mohamad Amin Najafizadeh

 

It is very significant that traditional women made statues. During the Islamic period making statues was very rare. These statues were used as toys for children.  This could be a reason that legitimized the making of statues. That is why this tradition could remain in Iran for some thousand years.  It seems that in recent years only men make these statues.

 

In autumn of 2009 I traveled to Minab and saw the processes of shaping these statues. I learned that traditionally donkey manure is mixed with clay to make it stronger.

 

I searched donkey's dung in Polour and I was happy to use dirt from sinkhole and donkey manure to make art.

 

The color of the statue before baking

 

 

 

There is a strong connection between women and the earth.

 

On September 10th we visited, Johannesburg City: we walk alongside a local market in Alexander Township. I noticed that they sold pieces of dirt. I discovered that women, who are pregnant, traditionally eat these pieces of dirt. This indicated a link between being a mother and earth.

 

 

In the past time, people in Iran used earth for cleaning their bodies. Various colors of these can be found in traditional markets.  They usually mix the earth with water and the liquid used for cleaning the body when people took baths.

 

In Hormozgan the earth is red and it comes from Lengeh.

 

I used this dirt for cleaning my body when I live in nature and also use them as color when I paint. It is important for us environmental artists to use components that are environmentally clean.

 

My mother showed me this plant. Its name is Eshlom or Ishnan. In the old time, people used the powder of this plant to wash their clothes.

 

There are many mysteries in the earth that we should learn.

 


 

Iran is a country in which when it rains you can feel the scent of the earth. I can feel it.

... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --



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