WORKSHOP OF THE GODS
Kumartuli, with its maze of narrow streets, is a district founded in the north of Kolkata over 300 years old.
A community of more than 400 potters ("kumar" means to sculpt - to shape, "tuli" means place) was set up here, where it lives and works still.
These artisans make images of various Hindu gods and goddesses using only straw, hay, bamboo and clay gathered from the banks of the Hooghly river. Most of the activities take place during the months preceding the Durga Puja, one of the biggest festivals in West Bengal.
About 12,000 statues of Goddes Durga and other Hindu deities are carved out every year.
In addition to local buyers, many of these figures are exported to about 90 countries worldwide.
Even if in recent years the productions costs have increased and the profits are not so good, most of the potters continue this ancient art that has been handed down for generations.
They represent the tradition and the history of Bengali culture, and thanks to their art also the most humble materials take divine appearance.