Wednesday, 27 February 2013

India Exhibit at the British Museum

We are studying India and the religions of that region, mainly Hinduism and Buddhism.  We decided to take a day to see what the British museum had on exhibit for this period.

Entrance to the British Museum--we have  been here so many times and yet I still don't think we have seen the entire collection and not sure we will before we have to return to the states this summer:(

Kids were able to recognize some of the figures.  This is Shiva and in his hands he holds a club, deer and snake.   Shiva is known as the destroyer but also can create

Brahma the creator of the universe.  He has four  head facing the directions of the compass (N,S,E,W)

Loved this sign as it explained the 6 different ways  Buddha would be sitting.  Kids quickly pick this up and were able throughout the exhibit to tell what the message of the Buddha statue was communicating based on hand position.

This hand position is the Buddha setting the Wheel of Law in motion which has something to do with he first teachings.  I need to read up on that more to fully understand it

The Wheel of the Law--we saw this in a lot of the statues

Statue of a Buddhist monk

Jainism -- Rishabha the founder --  Kids and I haven't learned about this  one yet but on my list to cover soon.

With Jainism I was able to distinguish them from the other statues based on the 4 pointed mark on their chest

This is a statue of the aviator of the god Vishnu, he has many avatars.  I must admit I get very lost with all of this.

Model of a stupa -- with is a burial for relics and ashes of monks.  Also  a place of mediation.

This is the God Ganesha--We found a story about him on You tube, weird but interesting story. 

Ceremonial Crown

We read somewhere that horses were harder to rear so elephants were what were used for  War.  I need to research this further.

Ravana is  the primary antagonist character of the Hindu epic Ramayana .  We read that is epic tale is longer than Gilgamesh.

Ivory casket for ashes

Ivory ladle

19th century palm leaf book, above is a silver case to hold it in.

Palace doors from the 19th century
We had fun touring the museum and learn a few more things that we didn't know along the way.  We are continuing our studies on the country India and ancient India.


  1. This is very interesting as almost all of the Buddha statues that I have seen have portrayed him as a chubby, happy fellow. I've always thought he looked like a heart attack waiting to happen. I wonder if that is a modern or American thing. Have you watched any of the Bollywood movies. I think it was Slumdog Millionaire that showed how desperate the conditions are for so many Indian children. It's rated "R", so probably inappropriate for your kids, but you might try previewing it. It just stands out in my mind, because Indian religious controversy plays such a big role in the beginning. I can't remember it well though, so I may be getting totally confused. If I'm remembering the correct movie though, if you look up the child actors that were in it, they were real slum kids and there was a lot of controversy over the money that they were paid (their parents tried to take it or something). I also loved Monsoon Wedding, but that is definitely not appropriate for your kids. The Life of Pi is rated PG. I never saw it, because I felt that the movie couldn't possibly compare to the book, but it did look pretty good.

    1. I always thought Buddha was fat and jolly too:) But have since learn there are several types of Buddhism and they all have different versions of the what the Buddha looks like, I am still trying to sort out if the leaders are different men.:)

  2. We have been starting to learn about Rome. When they were fighting Carthage elephants were involved. Alexander the Great also fought against people with elephants when he made it to India.

    We spent one day at the British museum. I think you could go every day for a month and still see new things. You are lucky to have that awesome resource so close.

    It looks like you saw some really cool artifacts. We haven't studied Buddha or India yet, but I will remember the sitting positions when we do.:)

    1. We have read that too. At the museum it sort of implied that horses weren't raised in India so they didn't use them. Again I need to do more research on this:)

  3. Ha! It didn't even occur to me to take the children during our India study (even though we've been for almost every other culture we studied) Duh!!

    1. We love the British museum and the Imperial War museum, we go very often:)

  4. Happy sigh, British Museum. I love that place, we chose a hotel just down the street from it for our honeymoon.

  5. Another wonderful lesson from the pages of this adventure journal. I am fascinated with the things you are teaching your children.
    Blessings and hugs for all!