Critically discuss the importance of terracotta as the material for artistic expression of the humble people.

Terracotta was the material for artistic expression of the humbler people to whom stone, not very easily obtainable in the plains of northern India and was a precious and costly material. A large number of variety of finds have been made on various levels of excavations at a number of important city sites such as Palaliputra, Taxila, Mathura.
It seems that the art of terracotta, either fashioned directly out of clay by hand or shaped and modelled by moulds, provided the most popular objects for household worship and decoration, plaques and figures in the round for popular magic and religious purposes, seals for purposes of documentation, children’s toys, ornaments, medals, amulets and animal figurines of totemistic significance or children’s play things. Much more than their pure aesthetic significance is their value for the history of Indian culture and the life of the common people.


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