The rich culture of Bengal has survived millennia of change, invasion and reemergence. The poet D.L. Roy once wrote of Bengal as the place where "your feet are washed by the sea and your head is adorned by the snowy crown of mountains." Once united, the region he described is now divided between the eastern state of West Bengal in India, and the independent nation of Bangladesh.
Among the stories of princes, devata (deities) and bloodthirsty rakshash (demons), stories of women's lives and images emerge. Women and their goddesses bring to vivid life not only the nurturing Bengali motherland itself, but Uma, the daughter and potential wife; Parvati, the young bride and potential mother; Kali, the mother at her most fearsome, who can take life as well as create it; and Durga, the Divine Protectress and slayer of demons.