Todi Ragini, from a Ragamala Series

In the ragamala system, male ragas are “married” to female raginis. Todi Ragini is a “wife” of Hindola Raga, the name of a scene that features the male lover or lovers on a swing. Both Todi and Hindola are meant to explore the moods of springtime. Ragamala verses describe Todi as a woman with sharp eyes and a slim “extremely tender body, radiant as the frost” and smeared with saffron and camphor from Kashmir. She is said to “push back a deer from the edge of a forest glade.”

Opaque watercolor with gold on paper


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Cleveland Museum of Art

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