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Balinese Sita Wood Carving

Size: H61 x 21 cm (H2’ 0 inches): Weight: 1.15 kilos (2 lb 9 oz)

Vintage Balinese Woodcarving - Sita’s Trail by Fire to Prove Her Fidelity

Availability: In Stock
Price: £950.00

Balinese Sita Wood Carving

Size: H61 x 21 cm (H2’ 0 inches): Weight: 1.15 kilos (2 lb 9 oz)


This amazing carving depicts the Goddess Sita’s Ordeal or Trail by Fire to prove her fidelity to Rama. It was purchased directly from the carver in Bali around 30 years ago in the 1990s when it was already quite old, and has remained on display in my home until now.  



According to the Hindu Ramayana story Sita was held captive by the demon king Ravana for many years, causing Rama to doubt her fidelity, so she voluntarily enters a burning pyre declaring that if she’s been faithful the fire will not harm her, and of course she comes out unscathed as proof of her purity.


The carving depicts Sita’s Ordeal in the flames which, in the carving, spring from her captor’s head.


It has been intricately carved from a single piece of old tree trunk that had been hollowed out by a lightning strike and thereafter exposed to the elements.  I have no doubt that the carver associated the lightening strike with the subject he chose to represent. Sadly, the carver’s name escapes me.  


Balinese wood carvers sometimes deliberately leave wood to season beneath a dripping tap in order to add colour and character to the grain before carving. 


This wonderful carving is in virtually perfect condition with just one fine, almost invisible, hairline crack near Sita’s left hand.  


It is free-standing but would look great with a light behind it on a wall.

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