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Official teachers' resource for the Art Gallery of Ontario's Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Royal Courts exhibition, which is up until April 3, 2011. Learn about some of the artifacts in the exhibition, and engage in a dialogue relating ancient artworks to contemporary life.

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A Powerful Woman

Chand Bibi of Bijapur shooting with her ladies. c. 1750 opaque watercolour on paper. Victoria & Albert Museum, London © V&A Images / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Chand Bibi was a rare case for women in the ruling classes at her time, and even rarer in the general population of India in the 16th century.
  • Hunting or playing sports, learning to play musical instruments, going shopping or even taking a walk on your own, going to school, even reading, were not considered appropriate pursuits for girls and women.
  • Imagine what it would be like to not have any power over what you do, what you wear, or even who or when you marry. What makes a woman powerful?

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