Opium Kharal Hand Carved
Rajasthan - 41xh10cm - extraordinairy carving skills - early 20th century
Used to make and pour an opium beverage: A ritual of hospitality in North India
Consumption of an opium beverage, an ancient social practice subject to a community ritual in northern India. Reserved for the welcome of members of the same caste, this drink is at the heart of the commensality which constitutes a fundamental aspect of the sociability and solidarity of a caste. This toxic opium beverage when shared during an agonistic ritual acts as a social catalyst. It transcends the usual rules concerning purity and bodily contact given its sacrificial nature.