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Vaishnava brahmin performing japa . Anglo-Indian school, circa late 19th century. Opaque watercolour on warqa, laid down on later thin card. 19.5cm by 14cm
A painting strongly influenced by photography or possibly a painted copy of a photograph. The brahmin is seated wearing a gomukhi (ritual L-shaped bag) on his right hand to perform japa - counting the beads of his tulsi-mala (rosary made from beads from the sacred tulsi shrub) whilst repeating Vishnu's name in a mantra thus helping forge a route to salvation.
Ref: Anglo-Indian Brahmin 1105
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Images and text © Peter Blohm