PANCHA LOGAM STATUE
In the ancient times, it was customary to group things together in certain numbers.
To give some examples - thiri kadugam - 3 types of certain spices - dried ginger, pepper, and thippili. In Tamil, it is known as chukku, miLagu, thippili.
Pancha muulam refers to 5 types of roots.
Nava Bhashanam is 9 types of mineral poisons.
Why cant there be more or less? I would'nt know. I did not group them. Only the ancient Tamils know.
The Tamil craft of statutary deals with metallic statues which are known as bronzes.
In Tamil, they are known as Pancha Loga Vigrahas.
And in Malaysia, the people are made to beleive that these statues are made of an alloy of 5 metals containing a lot of gold and silver.
This is not true.
They never contain any gold.
Normally, according to a certain book called Thogai Akaraadhi or Thogai nuul, the term 'Pancha Logam' stands for Iron, Copper, Tin, Silver, and Gold.
But the 'Pancha Logam' in Shilpa Sastra or the craft of making statues means something different.
A Pancha Loga statue which is commonly known as Bronze statue is made from an alloy containing Copper, Tin, Lead, Silver, and traces of Arsenic. Copper is the main component. It makes up 90 %. Silver is very little.
There wont be any gold.
The world famous Cholza Bronzes have been chemically analysed and found not to contain any gold.
Even now, no Pancha Logam statue contains any Gold.
The temple authorities do not know anything about Ancient Indian Metallurgy. Usually they are misled and they, in turn, mislead common people - especially the rich people who donate lavishly.