Alternative Names: Poonah Figure, Poona Figure

This clay figure of an Ayah was part of a series of 82 Indian clay figures purchased from Stubb and Co for £9.10 in 1867 by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). The group of figures, which came from Pune (Poonah), represented various castes, occupations and religious sects in India. The NGV Stockbook describes the figure as a 'Half Caste Ayah or Muse'.

An Ayah was employed by a family to clean, look after children, and perform other domestic tasks.

Physical Description

Figure of a woman on a turned wooden base. The base is painted red. A paper label is glued to the base. The figure is plaster/composition modeled over wooden dowels, it is painted with a dark brown skin tone, and dressed in fabric. Her garments consist of a blouse of white cotton with red patterning, a sari of white cotton with a glued-on edge strip of red and white cotton, she is bare foot and has painted black hair. The object is damaged, the paint on her face is scratched and the textiles are stained.

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