Posted on: 17 September 2016

Digital Rare Book:
Papers on Small Pox, Vaccination, &c. ...
By Robert Pringle (1830-1899)
Royal College of Surgeons of England
Published by Wyman & Sons. London - 1869

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Opaque watercolour painting of two conjurers, who are devotees of the smallpox goddess, Mariamman. The man with closely cropped beard and a moustache, wears short knee-length trousers tied with a white sash at the waist and two necklaces of coloured beads, with earrings in both the earlobe and the helix. On his forehead and chest are tripundra (three horizontal marks). In the folds of his large turban is a bunch of margosa leaves. He beats a round tambourine with two sticks. His wife wears a dark red sari with a striped pattern draped over her lower body, with a white blouse and jewellery. In her right hand she holds a stick, in her left a bunch of margosa leaves, like those stuck in her husband’s turban. On her head she balances a vessel containing an open flame. An elaborate tilaka emphasized by white dots adorns her forehead. The background is yellow and the foreground dull green.

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Text and image credit:
© Trustees of the British Museum

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This is huge for Ayurveda. Allopathy's biggest "claim to fame" is small pox eradication.