Dancing Ganesh Statue at Calgary Zoo

Hindu God Ganesh Dancing Stone Statue

Dancing Ganesh in front of Calgary Zoo

In 2006, the Calgary Zoo, with the help of a private donor, commissioned Lotus Sculpture to custom make a nine-foot tall, 5-ton statue to be displayed in front of their new Elephant Crossing exhibit. The sculpture, which was modeled after the Hindu god Ganesh, was beautifully hand-carved with polished Indian black granite and took approximately one year to complete. The statue’s proportionate size, with the head of an elephant and bulbous trunk, uplifted arm, slight chest, potbelly, huge thighs, and chubby feet fit together with perfection. Much thought, and many fine details were carved into this work of art.

The zoo, with consideration of their guests, removed all of Ganesh’s religious symbols before it was erected. The statue was meant to show the link between elephants and Asian culture, not to represent a religious icon. Once installed, the ‘dancing elephant’ still brought about a ‘handful’ of complaints and unwanted controversy to the exhibit. A Canadian Christian group organized a campaign to protest the statue, citing “selective religious partiality and indoctrination”. Despite the few grievances, the zoo did not remove the sculpture. It still stands peacefully today (for now).

Unfortunately, it was recently announced that the Calgary Zoo will be closing the Elephant Crossing exhibit, where it holds one bull and three female endangered pachyderms. The climate is too cold for the small herd. The time-frame of their departure could take up to five years, as one female is pregnant and not due to give birth until February 2013. Likely, once born, they will not relocate the group to another zoo until the baby is at least four-years-old. The elephants will go away one day, but the $11-million, taxpayer-funded building will remain and house a new species. The zoo anticipates continuing the focus on an Asian theme, with animals that are better suited to the climate of Calgary. Hopefully, with keeping in line of the Asian theme and culture, the beautiful, carefree, and loving Ganesh statue will remain the gatekeeper of the exhibit and for all visitors to enjoy.
Click here to view the stone dancing Ganesh statue

Stone Hindu God Ganesh Statue

Dancing Ganesh Stone Statue

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Easter Island Moai Head Sculpture in Encinitas, California

   In April 2011, an Easter Island Head replica, or Moai, was carved out of an 11-foot Torrey pine stump in Encinitas’ Swami’s Park.  This sculpture was declared a temporary public work of art, due to the nature of the carved material and environmental decay.  Over a year later, the statue still stands proudly, showing only some signs of beetle infestation.
   The sculpture at Swami’s is a beautiful and fitting representation of the original Polynesian monolithic statues carved from stone, mostly between the years 1250 and 1500 CE, on the Chilean Easter Island. The Moai were created by the indigenous Rapanui to honor their deified ancestors.  They are commonly referred to as “tiki” or “Easter Island heads”, due to their disproportionate size, although they are whole-body statues.  Moai are known for their large, broad noses, strong chins and rectangle-shaped ears.  Normally, the statues are in a squat position, with arms resting. 
    The iconic sculptures have been theorized in the news recently.  According to a report in the July issue of National Geographic, a study suggests that the massive stone heads were ‘walked’ with ropes by the natives, from the main quarry to stone platforms around the island’s perimeter.  Much mystery and intrigue has surrounded Easter Island and the transportation of the original 33-foot tall, 80-ton structures.  Rapanui lore says that the Moai, animated by mana, a spiritual force conveyed by powerful ancestors, were not transported; they walked. 
Given the history the Rapanui endured, such as, famine, civil wars, slave raids and deforestation, the resilience of the Swami’s Easter Island head sculpture is appropriate.  Attempts will be made to preserve the wood statue, but only time will tell, if and when, nature will get the best of it.

View Lotus Sculpture’s Large Moai Sculpture for Sale

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