Boy Wearing Tilaka (India)
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This lantern slide, “Boy Wearing Tilaka (India),” shows a shirtless boy standing with his hands at chest-level, palms touching. Standing behind him and out of focus is a man. The boy is wearing tilaka, a Hindu mark signifying devotion. His tilaka is the Srivaishnava Urdhva Pundra, a trident-shaped white mark with a red or orange line in the center. This specific tilaka signifies the wearer's devotion to Vishnu. The number of stripes on your body usually reflects your caste, and as the boy only has the forehead mark, he is likely a Sudra. The white paint comes from a clay called tirumani that can be purchased inexpensively at most bazaars. The Y.M.C.A.’s work in India began in 1889, when they sent a young American named David McConaughy to Madras to serve as the first foreign secretary in India. McConaughy encouraged the development of pre-existing Associations and held the first National Convention in 1891, resulting in the formation of the National Council of India, Burma, and Ceylon. The Association’s most notable contribution in India was its rural development work, first begun by K. T. Paul in 1913. Paul established microloan programs that freed the rural poor from the grips of moneylenders and won many converts among India's lower classes. Joseph Hawkes, the slide’s creator, spent much of his life producing and coloring lantern slides from his home in New York. This slide is part of Springfield College’s lantern slide series depicting Y.M.C.A. work in India, Ceylon, and Burma in the early twentieth century. The series was prepared by the Foreign Division of the American and Canadian Y.M.C.A, which established self-sustaining associations staffed by trained secretaries in foreign lands.
Text on border reads, "45; India; Boy with Caste Mask; Made by Joseph Hawkes.
Part of the Y.M.C.A. Work in India and Sri Lanka Lantern Slide Series
- Hawkes, Joseph
- Digital Commonwealth
- Contributing Institution
- Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
- Springfield College
- International Young Men's Christian Association
Srivaishnava Urdhva Pundra
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- Chicago citation style
- Hawkes, Joseph. Boy Wearing Tilaka (India). 1910-1930. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/3160. (Accessed July 16, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- Hawkes, Joseph, (1910-1930) Boy Wearing Tilaka (India). Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/3160
- MLA citation style
- Hawkes, Joseph. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/3160>.