Year Released: 2000
Length: 43 minutes
Four striking wooden figures occupy the central shrine of the magnificent temple to Lord Jagannath ("Lord of the Universe") in Puri, Orissa, India. Periodically, as these four wooden figures die, they are re-created from four trees selected from the Orissa countryside by Daita tribal priests. This film describes the legend linking the Daita tribal priests to the king of Puri and the brahman priests who serve in the Puri temple. Viewers follow the priests as they select the trees, supervise their cutting, their transportation to Puri, the transfer of souls from the four dying figures to the four newly-created figures, and the installation of the new figures in the gigantic Jagannath festival carts that are pulled by thousands of devotes through the streets of Puri. The film captures many shades of devotion, tradition and ritual that accompany the periodic re-creation of Lord Jagannath and his three companions from the trees of Orissa.