Collaborative Studio 5, Piece #3
 Thursday, November 17,2011

Water, Green, Circle, Hinduism

For Water, I chose to make a circular Moksha Patamu board (more commonly recognized today as snakes and ladders), named after the Indus River, where it originated 4,000 years ago.  It symbolizes the Hindu belief of man’s journey through life on the way to oneness with All.  I created 5 female playing pieces that represent the  4 Varnas:  Brahmans:  scholars, teachers, priests and sages; the Kshatriya: kings, warriors, and rulers; the Vaishyas: cattle herders, agriculturists and merchants; the Shudras: labourers, craftsmen and artisans; and the “Untouchables”, many of the women who are ‘encouraged’ to work in the temple brothels.  The over all design is meant to be reminiscent of Henna tattoos.

Designing the board.

the full board.

Designing for the board background.

Close up on the detail.

More close up details.

Starting to paint the detail.  Acrylic on board.

Beginning the next layer.  Really, it wasn't far after this that I decided I must be a little crazy to do this stuff.

Almost done.  This is 24 hours of actual painting into the project.

The finished board.

Detail on the game board.

Detail on the decorative edge.

BrahmanKshatriyaVaishyaShudraPanchamaAll five of my Varna pieces. 

My varnas, colored by Caste from highest to lowest.

"Moksha Patamu" on display in the gallery.

Another view of "Moksha Patamu" on display in the gallery.