Femininity in Proto-historic South Asian Art: an Analytical Study of Harappans

Women carry divine procreative powers gifted by nature. There is an inherent sophistication in the movements of a woman’s body and the livelihood of these movements has been well represented since proto-historic times. Be it either sculptural art or terracotta art, the artisan or even a novice took care of representing the associated sophistication. The statuettes of females, despite crude and imperfect figurine elements, can be identified by the prominently shown sexual organs/female body parts. In the context of the Harappan Civilization, the feminine figurines have been widely reported. From Mundigak III and IV the female figurines with prominent breasts have been reported. The most famous female figure is a Zhob mother goddess; the name has been suggested by the findings at the Zhob valley. Harappa and Mohenjodaro have been blessed with a different kind of female figurines. These figurines are characterized by wide hips, narrow waist and sometimes large breasts. The feminine representation appears also in the Chalcolithic pottery in Maharashtra.