India and Himalaya


Object :
Nº 1038
Medium :
Dimensions :
Height: 73.5 cm (28.9") - Width: 74.5 cm (29.3")

Description :

Rat of painted wood adorned with jewelry and floral motifs and set on a table. Head raised, half-open mouth revealing its teeth and a still red tongue. It wears a saddle of thick, decorated fabric. The long tail lies on the table. Excellent state of preservation. Very beautiful and authentic patina.

In India, the rat is the loyal vâhana, or vehicle, of Ganesh, the god with an elephant's head. Its name is Mooshika. The two beings complement each other: the elephant is massive, strong and contemplative; the rat is small, mobile and mischievous. Together, they have all the attributes for solving the world's problems. So, the god is often represented upright on his rat. Moreover, it's said that upon falling from the rat Ganesh broke one of his defenses. Since, the god is always represented with only one defence. A temple in India recounts for us another story about the rat. The building is devoted to the worship of rats or more precisely of Karni Mata and her kabas, her rats. These rats by the thousands run around freely within the temple, are fed and are adored as reincarnations of story-tellers and musicians. They will no longer have to pass through the realm of shadows to be judged thanks to the prayers of a pious woman from the 15th century named Karni Mata addressed to Yamraj, the Spirit of Death, to give life back to her stepson or one of her story-tellers. The presence of the saddle indicates that we are more likely in the presence of Mooshika.