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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

From temple to home
celebrating Ganesha

27 February – 25 May 2014
Free

The Asahi Shimbun Displays
Objects in focus

Supported by

Explore the iconography of a beautiful 13th-century sculpture of the elephant-headed god Ganesha and find out how he is celebrated across India.

The elephant-headed Ganesha is one of the most popular Hindu gods – the creator and remover of obstacles. The main stone sculpture in the display was carved from schist around 800 years ago and was originally positioned on the outside of a temple in the eastern state of Orissa (recently renamed Odisha). The display brings this sculpture together with other more recent depictions of Ganesha created for different purposes. Among these are the temporary statues created every year for the Ganeshchaturthi festival in Mumbai, which are placed in public or domestic shrines before being immersed in water at the end of the celebrations.

The display is curated by Manisha Nene of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) in Mumbai, who participated in the British Museum’s International Training Programme (ITP) in 2011. The ITP promotes the mutual sharing of knowledge, skills and experience as museum and heritage professionals from across the world are hosted by the British Museum and UK partner museums. As part of the ITP, Manisha prepared a proposal for a temporary exhibition about Ganesha, which the Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, asked her to develop in collaboration with British Museum curators.

This display explores the imagery and symbolism associated with Ganesha, puts the worship of the god across South Asia in context, and retells some of the most popular stories surrounding him.

Objects featured in the display

Sculpture of Ganesha, 1872,0701.59 

Painting of Ganesha, 1940,0713,0.211 

Painting of Ganesha, 1974,0617,0.14.1 

Print of Ganesha, 1880.2369 


Schist stone figure of Ganesha. From Orissa, India, 13th century AD.

Related video

The making and worship of Ganesha statues in Maharashtra

Watch video 

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