❤ Sharing Folkworthy Stuffs ❤
2 Comments | Vintage
🇮🇳 FAKIR, early 1900s. Original photo print by R.C Mazumdar. Taken c. 1900, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India (Wellcome Collection).
Benares, now known as Varanasi is considered one of the great holy cities in India on the banks of the Ganges river. Sādhus, or holy men, of which there are several million, are revered by many Indians, and are a common sight now as they were over a century ago. The long, thick dreadlocks wraps are known as jata. The sādhus’ ghostly appearance is explained by smearing themselves in ash from sandalwood, incense, or the ash of cremated bodies.
The origins of the bed of nails can be found in the Mahabharata, an ancient Sanskrit poem. In it, the celibate warrior Bhishma was killed by the archer Arjuna in battle, pierced by innumerable arrows. The sight of Bhishma’s fall on a bed of arrows was said to humble the gods.
>Original caption reads, "Benares, India: a fakir sitting on a bed of nails. Photograph by R.C. Mazumdar, ca. 1900 (?)."
Black and white original
"Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum" is/was on the Embarcadero in San Fran. I went there once during Fleet Week and bought a ticket. The ticket seller pointed at a bed of nails and said "Have seat, the next tour starts in a few minutes."
So I sat down. When she looked up and saw me sitting there she hastily said, "Oh, you can go on in, sir!"
Don’t challenge a sailor, lady.