Saturday, February 01, 2014

The "Dancing Girl" from Mohenjo-daro

Isn't this little statue wonderful?

From the Wikipedia article:

A bronze statuette dubbed the "Dancing Girl", 10.8 centimetres (4.3 in) high and some 4,500 years old, was found in Mohenjo-daro in 1926. In 1973, British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler described the item as his favorite statuette:
"She's about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There's nothing like her, I think, in the world."
John Marshall, another archeologist at Mohenjo-daro, described the figure as "a young girl, her hand on her hip in a half-impudent posture, and legs slightly forward as she beats time to the music with her legs and feet."[14] The archaeologist Gregory Possehl said of the statuette, "We may not be certain that she was a dancer, but she was good at what she did and she knew it".

I love the moments when one reads about some ancient human culture and suddenly comes across that  feeling: the person talked about or viewed could be someone here and right now, someone we can understand and appreciate as a human being,  the reminder of the humanity of all people who once were. 

I also love the girl in the statue and the work of whoever made it, because it is a statue of the person, not a mere visual symbol of characteristics which were deemed desirable for some wider purpose.