Artistic Symbols in eighteenth century Maratha Culture

Gregory Bailey Greg.Bailey at LATROBE.EDU.AU
Thu Oct 21 04:46:40 UTC 2010

Dear All,

Can anybody suggest some directions pertaining to the e-mail included below?


Greg Bailey


I am hoping that you can help me - I am researching for a film that depicts Maratha people and places in 1778. We are shooting in Australia and would like to do all we can to be accurate in our depiction.
I have noticed on Trove that you have a few books in your library that are relevant to this - these books are not available anywhere else I thought perhaps you had a subject in it?
IE:- Maratha confederacy : a study in its origin and development / V.S. Kadam
I am looking for 18th Century Maharashtra / Marathi specific:-

- Heraldry / Royal symbols of the different clans within the Marathi people of circa 1778?

I have found that many clans used the "Nishan" - insignia - of

          :- Rudra - Shiva
          :- Sun
          :- Moon
          :-  Ganapati - Ganesh
          :- Trishul - Trident
          :- Hanuman - Hindu Deity
          :- Serpent

but have not been able to find any images of these - are you able to let me know what they would have looked like around 1778 - or do you have any paintings of them or photographs of any surviving insignia from the time?

Also do you know if the court of the Peshwar used the same insignia as the court of the Raja or were they different?

Other more general research is:-

- Symbolism in art - ie deities, sun, moon, etc animals such as the tiger or the peacock etc - which animals were depicted and why?

- Sculptures - religious or of the rulers of the time?
- Paintings
- Architecture - temples / palaces / buildings
- Patterns - textiles - clothing - flags
- Court Regalia - banners, colours, patterns, objects, etc
- Other Objects
- Jali Screen patterns - which shapes where used?

In the script we see 2 great courts / palaces and also the huts and dwellings of some poorer people.

I am wondering how the Maratha symbolism differed from other Hindu symbolism of the time?

I would be most appreciative if you could offer me any advice or assistance or let me know the best place to go or person to ask.

Do you know of any online resources that I can download pictures from? Or articles that elaborate on the symbolism? Or any books that I may be able to find in Australia? I have found many books on Hindu Art and Architecture - but none specifically show if they were 18th Century Maratha / Maharashtra.

Much thanks for your time, I apologies for rushing you as I am sure that you are very busy - but we are shooting very soon and so I would really appreciate any advice that you have as soon as possible!

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