Koli Couple, People of Mumbai
Late 19th to early 20th century
Half baked terracotta clay with pigments

The Kolis, a fishing community, were the original inhabitants of the seven islands of Mumbai, shown here in their traditional attire. A collection of clay models on display in the Kamalnayan Bajaj Mumbai Gallery showcases the people of Mumbai, their lifestyles and culture, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These models further illustrate art historical developments of that time and innovations in creating new art forms.

The Kolis continue to practice their traditional occupation and Koli villages survive along Mumbai’s coastline even today. Interestingly the name Mumbai is derived from the name of the goddess 'Mumba' worshipped by the Kolis, and 'ai' or ‘mother’ in Marathi.