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Bos Gaurus, the gaur

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Chapter Summary

Despite its impressive appearance, its wide-spread occurrence all over the subcontinent, and its high esteem by the Hindus, depictions of the gaur are extremely limited. This might be explained by its wild state and the fact that it plays at present no special role in religion, legends or myths. The semi-domestic form, the gayal, on the contrary, has an important role in sacrifice, but this practice is limited to the northernmost part of the Indian subcontinent. Theoretically, such a sacrificial role, either with the gaur itself or with the smaller gayal, may have been in vogue in the Indus Valley of four thousand years ago as well, regarding the frequent depiction of bison-like bulls on steatite seals. The depictions on the Indus Valley seals are in favour of the gaur, unless early gayals still had gaur-like horns.

Keywords: bos gaurus; gaur; gayal; religion; stone carving

10.1163/ej.9789004168190.i-462.30
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004168190.i-462.30
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