Are you wondering what's the significance of having these clay sentinels at the entrance and rooftop of Goan homes? Let’s find out…
Goa has a good mix of cultural influences attributed to its 450-year Portuguese colonial rule. These influences are also seen in simple art sculptures like these traditional terracotta sentinels.
These terracotta sentinels are usually spotted over entrances, gates and rooftops of old Goan houses.
You can find a saluting soldier, a cockerel, fierce lion or tiny animals like a seated rabbit.
The lions symbolise strength and courage and have been associated with the Kadamba dynasty that ruled Goa before the Portuguese.
Portugal’s iconic symbol - Rooster of Barcelos - is often linked to the cockerels sighted on Goan Catholic houses.
Apart from enhancing overall aesthetics, these sentinels helped in filling the gap where three or four corners of the rooftop met.
These mini-statues define the stature for those residing in these homes and showcase Goa's past heritage.