This book explores the traditional use of wooden churning rods known in Nepal as ghurras. The author puts forward a system of classification in order to build up a symbolic interpretation of the ghurras. He lifts up the tip of a wonderful veil so that we can gain a glimpse into the fundamental meaning of these beautiful artifacts. It is a symbolism that is rooted in age old religious and folk traditions.
These anthropomorphic sculpted objects are used to guide the churning-rod during the churning of milk in order to produce butter. Their sculptural motifs are derived from the holy paraphernalia of Hinduism, Buddhism and Tantricism.
In a way, ghurras can be identified as the karma of ordinary hill people. Their lives slowly evaporating under the burning sun, their souls finally diffusing into the open air of the breathtaking Himalayas: the abode of their gods.
Paul De Smedt