Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • This shrine is meant to look like a miniature temple. What aspects make it look like a building?
  • Consider the materials this shrine is made of. What effect do these have on its appearance? How do they affect your reaction to the object?
  • The shrine has many figural and animal forms decorating the exterior. What are these figures doing, and what might their purpose be?
  • Act out the behaviors of the animals seen in this shrine. Elephants are a common animal in India and hold special meaning for Indian people. What animal is special to you or common where you live?

Making Connections

For Students K-12

  • The DMA Shrine is made of repoussé silver-over-wood. Repoussé is a metalworking practice that creates designs in low relief by hammering the reverse side of a malleable metal. Consider the effect of this material on the appearance of the object. Fold, shape, twist, and crumple the foil provided into a silver-like creation. How is foil different from other supplies you have worked with?
  • This shrine may have appeared in a Hindu or Jain temple alongside many other objects. Research the types of materials and figures seen in sacred spaces of another religion (i.e. Islamic mosque, Buddhist temple, Catholic cathedral, Jewish synagogue, etc.). In an essay compare and contrast the materials and objects found in your research to those of the _Shrine _and Hindu or Jain temples in India.
  • Many cultures consider silver to be a precious material and utilize it to communicate power or wealth. Research the history of silver and its use outside of a Hindu or Jain context (i.e. amongst European peoples or Mesoamerican cultures) and present a report to the class on your findings, providing plenty of artistic examples (hint: search “silver” in the DMA collections online).
  • The creator of this shrine used animals, flowers, and abstract designs to decorate this work of art. How would you decorate a special place? Create a drawing of how you would decorate a space such as your room.