Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More On Hair

Now if you want to know just how sophisticated Indian men’s coiffure became by the Gupta period, have a look at this wonderful picture taken by my friend Vikramajit during a recent trip to Deoghar near - well actually, its not really near anywhere, but it's where UP pokes its finger into Madhya Pradesh. It show the Pandu brothers full of masculine vigor and confidence and with the most elaborate hairdos. Why don’t they do hair like that any more?And in response to yesterday's post Vijramajit sent me another picture showing ancient Indian hairstyles (funny that, seeing that he's usually more interested in feet) from the great torana at Sanchi (150-100 BCE). It shows a salabanjaka under a mango tree having 'let her hair down.' It is a decidedly sensuous piece of sculpture, particularly for a Buddhist monument. The young woman is topless, she has her dhoti pulled through her legs, her mekhala, made of either chain or knotted cord, hangs on her hips (much as a smart young woman today might wear her jeans 'hipster style') and she has nupuras around her ankles and lower legs. I can't see her face but I suspect she has a cheeky smile. For a very detailed description to women's dress from around the time of the Buddha have a look at Ja.V,202-4.
Thanks Vikramajit, for sharing these two wonderful images.

2 comments:

Jamie G. said...

Eesh. I thought I spent too much time on my hair.... that's why I ended cutting it really short (not shaved to the skin, but close).

Terrance said...

I think I found the front portion of the sculpture. See:

http://www.greatbuildings.com/cgi-bin/gbi.cgi/Great_Stupa_at_Sanchi.html/cid_1010094072_Salabhanjika.gbi