A Festival of India major exhibition, shown exclusively at Mingei International.

A documentary publication, Form and Many Forms of Mother Clay by Haku Shah, was published by the National Crafts Museum, New Delhi. A documentary exhibition videotape was produced by Mingei International Museum.

FORMS OF MOTHER EARTH was one of the core projects of the 1985-86 Festival of India held in the United States as a comprehensive presentation of the culture of India. The exhibition, organized and shipped from India, was designed by Mr. Shah, Curator of the Tribal Museum in Ahmedabad, India.

FORMS OF MOTHER EARTH focuses attention on the age-old relationship between human beings and clay. The various clay forms represented in the exhibition were an inseparable part of village life that has existed for thousands of years in India.

The exhibition consisted of approximately 300 terracottas made throughout the Indian sub-continent. It was the first exhibition to present such a wide range of contemporary terracotta objects and to investigate in depth their social, historical, religious and artistic heritage. Diverse Indian cultural patterns were revealed by the variety of terracottas made for all members and classes of society. Created on both as large scale and as small, personal images, terracottas are used in a variety of settings from public temples and sanctuaries to rural village homes.

The entire exhibition was brought to life by eight potters from India, who demonstrated within the Museum’s exhibition area, the living tradition of building terracotta pots and architectural sculptures, such as Nandi bulls, Ganeshas and other animal forms of India.


On View: Feb 15, 1986 - Jun 15, 1986

Curator: Haku Shah

More Exhibitions


Indonesian Shadow Puppets

An intimate exhibition in the Museum’s Theater Gallery featuring a selection of shadow puppets from Indonesia.

July 19, 2017 - March 18, 2018Closes soon



Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal

Featuring approximately 40 kantha (decorative stitched quilting made from recycled sari) from the Museum's permanent collection.

October 28, 2017 - March 25, 2018Closes soon


Weaving a Path

Navajo Women and the Feminine Ethos

December 9, 2017 - May 20, 2018


Voluminous Art

Treasures from San Diego's University Libraries

March 10, 2018 - September 3, 2018