These clay sentinels atop old Goan homes symbolise a rich heritage

GT Digital

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|Goan homes|Rooftop sentinels|Heritage | Photo: Venita Gomes

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.

Goa|Goan homes|Rooftop sentinels|Heritage | Photo: Abigail Crasto

These terracotta sentinels are usually spotted over entrances, gates and rooftops of old Goan houses.

Goa|Goan homes|Terracotta|Design| | Photo: Venita Gomes

You can find a saluting soldier, a cockerel, fierce lion or tiny animals like a seated rabbit.

Goa|Goan homes|Terracotta|Portuguese| | Photo: Venita Gomes

The lions symbolise strength and courage and have been associated with the Kadamba dynasty that ruled Goa before the Portuguese.

Goa|Goan homes|Lion|Sterngth & courage | Photo: Abigail Crasto

Portugal’s iconic symbol - Rooster of Barcelos - is often linked to the cockerels sighted on Goan Catholic houses.

Goa|Goan homes|Cockereal|Rooster of Barcelos | Photo: Venita Gomes

Apart from enhancing overall aesthetics, these sentinels helped in filling the gap where three or four corners of the rooftop met.

Goa|Goan homes|Aesthetics | Photo: Abigail Crasto

These mini-statues define the stature for those residing in these homes and showcase Goa's past heritage.

Goa|Goan homes|Terracotta|Heritage | Photo: Venita Gomes

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