Indian wood carving
This is a Marapachi Doll from Andhra Pradesh in South India where these dolls are symbolic marriage gifts and often dressed up in clothes by children using them as toys. They make ritual appearances at Dussehra and Navratri festivals.
It is a statue of a young Indian woman standing about 35cm tall, is carved from one piece of a dense dark brown wood. The figure is standing upright on a carved wooden base made from the same piece of timber.
It appears to be that of a young woman, the breasts are high and small, the waist very narrow, the shoulders are broad and the hips are full and rounded. The face has a long slim nose, the eyes are pronounced, the ears are decorated with large round earrings. The eyebrows are delineated with three parallel lines, the uppermost of which is hatched to suggest the eyebrow with lines of make up underneath.
A narrow line of carving around the head at the bottom of the hairline suggests a hairband of a decorative woven material at the front of which is carved a large diamond shaped jewel. The carving also shows a large necklace, a choker and bangles around her upper arms and ankles, all typical of the ornaments worn by many women in India. An elaborately carved girdle sits around her waist.
Viewed from behind we see that her hair is drawn tightly back and gathered at the back of the neck before falling down to her hips in a pony tail tightly bound by fabric. Her back is very upright and her arms drop straight down by her sides. Her legs are unadorned except for simple ankle bracelets. The side view reveals a heavy face with a large forehead and small chin, features that are not so obvious from the front. A delightful and unique carved wooden statue.