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An image of a bullock, decorated and lashed to a carrying frame, with notes on colour and other details. 1786-88

An image of a bullock, decorated and lashed to a carrying frame, with notes on colour and other details. 1786-88

Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840), and Daniell, William (1769-1837

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1786

Shelfmark: WD1770

Item number: 1770

Length: 176

Width: 292

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pencil drawing of a bullock, decorated and lashed to a carrying frame, with notes on colour and other details, dated 1786-88. The drawing was probably done by the young William Daniell.

India has the largest number of cows and buffaloes in the world. Cows are regarded as sacred by the Hindus and are a symbol of motherhood and fertility. Bullocks in particular have an important economic value as they are widely used by farmers to plough the fields. The full-moon day in the month of Shravana is known as 'Go Purnima'. In that day agriculturists worship the cattle for the work they have done. Bullocks are bathed and decorated with flowers and sandle-paste and their horns are oiled. A piece of new cloth is placed on the back of the bullocks and they are fed with rice-cakes and pulses.

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