Broken Tusk

Why did Ganesh break his tusk and throw it at the moon?

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Ganesh, the much loved mythical Indian god in human form with the head of an elephant was commissioned by Festival of Imgineers to open their festival in Coventry.

Was he expecting to find a Cofa Tree, the origin of Coventry’s name, to rest against after his travels?  He headed to the sports centre, shaped in his likeness, to tell the story of how he lost his tusk, in a moonlit pool with an array of musicians, singers, dancers and artists.  Ganesh who carries a water pot from the Ganges and came to life mixed in water felt at home in the pool.

Ganesh has one tusk broken and four hands each holding a symbol, rewards of a life wisely lived.  Under a beautiful full moon created by artist Luke Jerram, tales of Ganesh unfold, sharing a culture and tradition that stretches back hundreds of years, but remains as popular today, as ever.  Perhaps, not surprisingly, as he is the god of good fortune, removing obstacles and paving the way for success.  There are many myths and stories inspired by Ganesh that are enjoyed equally by children and those searching for deeper mystical significance.  Why does he have the head of an elephant?  Who are his parents? How did he break his tusk? What does his birth signify?

Photo: Marcin Szymczak

More about Broken Tusk

The Story

A modernised retelling of an ancient tale of how a broken part of Ganesh became an instrument of great beauty.

Photo: Marcin Szymczak

BSDC: The work