Indian Arivalmanai Culinary Cutting Tool

  • This 19th-century arivalmanai is a traditional Indian tool used to prepare vegetables
  • The user would sit upon the wooden base and cut produce with the sharp steel blade
  • Considering its large size, this arivalmanai was likely used in a Hindu temple
  • Food has a central role in Hindu worship, and this tool is an important relic of this ancient ritual
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-3784

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Originating from the Kerala region of Southern India, this 19th-century arivalmanai, or culinary cutting instrument, is a traditional tool used in the preparation of vegetables throughout India. Comprising an engraved steel blade mounted upon a carved wood base, the user would place their weight on the wooden base by either sitting or kneeling, and prepare their ingredients accordingly. The craftsmanship and size of this fascinating relic denotes its usage in a Hindu temple setting, as offering food to the deities is believed to direct the mind towards spirituality. 

Food plays an important role in Hindu worship, and because of the veneration of the cow and belief in non-violence, most followers follow a vegetarian diet. The vast majority of Hindu religious customs center on the preparation and distribution of food, in particular prasada, or food offered to the deities. The offering of food is believed to purify the body, mind and spirit. Foods devotionally prepared in a temple setting are done so by brahmans, or priests, that follow strict standards of personal cleanliness. It is believed that the brahmans’ spiritual energy passes into the food they are preparing, and thereby heightens the spiritual state of the person eating it. 

Early 19th Century

7 1/2” wide x 29” length x 33 1/2” high
Indian Arivalmanai Culinary Cutting Tool
Period: 19th Century
Origin: Asia
Depth: 7.5 Inches
Length: 29
Width: 29.0 Inches
Height: 33.5 Inches

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