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Kavadi and water-carrier

Picture adapted from web site of Bengt Hemtun.

(Reference--web page of Bengt Hemtun ---Indus astronomy symbols)


One of the examples for this kind of humanised symbol is the representation of amulet shown here. This amulet was found in Sumer and it is influenced by the Indus Symbolism as per observation of Hemtun. This image of water carrier represents a deity but generally these kinds of depictions are not there in the Sumerian style. Because of that reason, Benght Hemtun concludes that this design of this amulet has been influenced by Indus culture. The "Waterman" is Aquarius and symbolises the water carriers and period of inundation (rainy season). This amulet portrays a normal every day scene of street life. It would have been common in those days to carry water to houses, which were not provided with wells of their own.

            This above said assumption of “waterman” of Hemtun does not really explain the character in the amulet. This symbol has to be analysed in the light of some religious practices of Dravidian societies. Carrying a “Kavadi” is a religious practice associated with worship of god Murugan in Tamil society and it is very popular and regularly practiced even now. Kavadi is a kind of small decorated palanquin-like structure carried in honour of god Murugan. The small palanquin, which is being carried today, looks like a modified form of water carrier pole. The water carrier is not a deity, but a devotee, who carries the Kavadi containing offerings to god. Most probably, the worshippers of that time might have carried some offerings like newly harvested grains and some homemade sweets as an offering to the temple of god.

             It is likely that he was carrying those offerings to the temple of Aries (goat constellation). This association is being made because goat constellation and Aquarius constellation are side by side, and a relationship between these two constellations had to exist, to make it lively and easier to remember. Further goat is the first god worshipped by Sumerians and is later termed as a form of Zeus worship by Herodotus. Further careful observation of seal reveals that the devotee is carrying an additional third bag in his left hand like a railway porter; this additional bag coincides with Capricorn constellation. On the right side of the devotee there is an animal like figure which coincides with Cetus constellation. In addition to that two stars are presented on both sides of his head very prominently. The overall conclusion is that this amulet is not merely illustrating a single constellation but group of constellations.

                  The second possibility is that he was a "god" as proposed by Begt Hemtun . In that case most probably his characters and attributes coincides with some god associated with death. Just like Egyptians , Indus people were also obsessed with death. Many of the Indus inscriptions on seals end with the symbol"
 which has the "Head gear" of "U" symbol. Most probably we was the guide to the soul to the under world. (a psycho pomp) See that there is some animal like being (Beast) standing beside him. Most probably  it was the Cerberus of later day Greek mythology. The same role is modified and given a decent assignment of helper of travelers.  I think travelers to under world only would have required his help in those days. Most probably "Pushan" of vedic period had taken over his place in later day Hindu mythologies. What ever may be the name of god, his character is very prominent and attractive, he was a friendly God all the time. The same god later called as "Mithra" during the Persian period. 

Kavad --- Kanwar Yatra (Ref --Wikipedia)
This symbol looks like the person carrying Kavad (Hindi)(Small Palanquin) (Kavadi -Tamil)
Kanwar Yatra is named after the kānvar (काँवर), a single pole (usually made of bamboo) with two roughly equal loads fastened or dangling from opposite ends. The kānvar is carried by balancing the middle of the pole on one or both shoulders. The Hindi wordkānvar is derived from the Sanskrit kānvānrathi (काँवाँरथी). Kānvar-carrying pilgrims, called Kānvariās, carry covered water-pots inkānvars slung across their shoulders. This practice of carrying Kavad as a part of religious pilgrimage, especially by devotees of Lord Shiva, is widely followed throughout India (see Kavadi). Yatra means a journey or procession.