Painted Kali Banner
This banner shows the Hindu goddess Kali sitting with four arms, the bottom two holding severed heads by their hair and the top two balancing severed heads on her index fingers. She has a gold crown with bracelets and has a necklace of human skulls. She sits with her red tongue sticking out under a raised red canopy. Surrounding Kali are seven devotees making offerings. Within this grouping there are three men, three women, and a child. On the right of the banner there is a man dressed in a white robe with a red belt and hat walking by.
In the bottom left corner there is a stamp stating ‘The Property of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 19, Delahay Street, Westminster, S.W.’. This was an Episcopalian Foreign Ministry Organization based in London. There is also a seal from the ‘Working Men’s Educational Union from 25 King William Street, Trafalgar Square London’. The Working Men’s Educational Union was a philanthropic society founded in 1853 to provide education to the working classes. This hanging would have been used in their lectures, held at various locations, to illustrate the latest advances in knowledge. This was printed on cotton to avoid a paper tax and also presumably because it is reusable. There is a brass eyelet in each corner and ‘M63’ is printed both on the front and the back with ‘India-Figure and worship of Kali’ written on a label on the back.
Circa: Early 20th Century
Material: Paint on Cotton
Dimensions: 46.5" x 34"
Inventory number: TX4712
This banner shows the Hindu goddess Kali sitting with four arms, the bottom two holding severed heads by their hair and the top two balancing severed heads. It was printed for a Foreign Ministry organization in London in order to teach the working class.