Eagle headdress

Series nameCostumes

This photograph depicts a heavy, intricate headdress which Ram Gopal wore for one of his most famous dances, the ‘Eagle Dance’. In this dance, Garuda, the sacred golden eagle of Lord Vishnu, swoops to earth to destroy the Naga (snake) people. Vishnu rewards him with the nectar of immortality.

Date of Creation / Publication
CreatorJenny Levy 1966
Associated Person/ OrganisationGopal, Ram
Collection and Reference NumberRam Gopal Collection (GB 2661 RGL)
Catalogue NumberRGL/COS/5
CopyrightThe Creator and/ or associated person or organisation where applicable
Access to originalsThe originals are located with Ann David, academic researcher and friend of Ram Gopal, and with Pam Cullen, Executor of the Ram Gopal Estate.
Series notesThis grouping consists of several digitised costumes worn by Ram Gopal for various performances throughout his career. Each item was hand made and tailored to Gopal's design. His productions were always spectacular and vast sums were spent on the costumes, which could be insured for as much as £25,000. Some were made of cloth of gold, made by Indian weavers and sewn by Gopal's own tailors in India. The cloth was so expensive that when it began to wear, it was sent back to India to be melted down and woven again. Particular costume details included peacock feathers, which were considered lucky and served as protection against the evil eye. The costumes were kindly loaned to SALIDAA for digitisation by Pam Cullen,executor of Ram Gopal's Estate.
Collection notesThe digitised material in the Ram Gopal Collection dates back to 1938 and includes black and white as well as colour photographs, several flyers and extracts from books including Ram Gopal's autobiography. The items also include newspaper articles, images of dance costumes, slides, advertisements and performance programmes.