Wovensouls Journal

NOTES ON TRADITIONAL ARTS AND VANISHING CULTURES OF ASIA

In Search of Heaven

In every village, in every town in Goa I drive through there’s either a temple or a church/chapel just around the corner. Goa probably has the highest per-capita or per-acre … Continue reading

July 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

When & Where did this festival occur?

Indian Culture is fascinating and even after years of being an Indophile I continue to be delighted by its mystique! The picture below was taken at a festival that I … Continue reading

July 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

WELCOME TO WOVENSOULS

Join me in my journeys to Marwar-Sindh Ladakh & Orissa, Kutch, Sarawak, Mewar, Mizoram, Sikkim, Ladakh, Lambani Villages & Arunachal Pradesh, Nepal, Nagaland, Northern Thailand, Angkor Wat, Borobudur Tibet, Goa, … Continue reading

July 3, 2014

INDEX | Articles on Culture

A kaleidoscope of glimpses into various cultures within Asia. Each tribe, each ethnicity expresses its identity in various ways – music, dance, textiles, costumes, food, language, life format etc. It … Continue reading

July 3, 2014 · 6 Comments

INDEX | Articles on Art

My explorations in ethnic and tribal art of various forms are posted here.  You could either scroll down and read all the articles or click on the articles that interest … Continue reading

July 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

INDEX | Articles by Region

The culture & art articles have been clubbed together in several region-specific diaries listed below. Rajasthan, Western India – Marwar  Diaries Karakoram – Dard Diaries Ryukyu Okinawa, Japan: Ryukyu Diaries … Continue reading

July 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Lambani Project

The Banjaras  & the Lambanis lived in the forested areas, mainly in South India.They have now been settled in villages through government schemes and no longer follow the nomadic / … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Mystical Banjara Textiles

What does one get when the women of a social group have a strong intellect, happiness in their hearts and time on their hands? Art. Art that is used to … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Magnificent Mummies – 1

“There’s more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done” (The Lion King) A visit to the museum opens up a whole new … Continue reading

June 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

Hairstyles of a Mummy – A visit to Ancient Egypt via The British Museum

A captivating visit to ancient Egypt …. viewing over a dozen mummies and ancient Egyptian art all in a single hall of the British Museum, London. If there is only … Continue reading

June 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

Ancient Art Motifs of Egypt

As I walk through the exhibits in the museum, it occurs to me that the Egyptian tombs were treasure troves not only of gold but also of art. The objects … Continue reading

June 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

Praying for Rain

A self-explanatory photo pre-1900 : An Indian Fakir performing a ritual praying for rain. The context is relevant even today! jm June 2014    

June 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

At the homes of Rabaris

A few pictures taken with majestic Rabari women & men in their own homes, over the years. Attending a Welcome or Swagat at a wedding in the homes of welcoming … Continue reading

June 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

The New Renaissance

The European Renaissance of the 14th – 17th centuries was a rebirth and cultural movement fueled by the invention of print, that profoundly affected intellectual life. The Renaissance of the … Continue reading

May 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

Textiles within Textiles

Am studying my Phad (Par) textiles and enjoying the complex scenes painted in. There are two types of Phads: one narrating the legend of Pabuji and the other narrating the … Continue reading

May 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Soul on Fire – The Passion of a Bhopa

PRELUDE Excerpt from an article* I wrote for Jozan Magazine about the Art of the Phad. The shortest way to describe the Phad is ‘a devotional mural storyboard painted on … Continue reading

May 18, 2014 · 1 Comment

Article in PASSAGE – Magazine of Asian Civilisations Museum Singapore

My article in Passage, the magazine of the Friends of the Museum, ACM, Singapore: jm May 2014

May 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Gauna Ceremony of Child Brides

PRELUDE It is a custom prevalent even today in several states of India – U.P., Bihar, M.P. & Rajasthan and maybe even some others and is mainly practiced by village … Continue reading

May 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

MANJUNATH – THE FILM

“MANJUNATH” An outstanding film – an outstanding true story about an outstanding young MBA who joins the corporate world made by another outstanding MBA  – who gave up his corporate … Continue reading

May 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Dealing with Addiction

How does one do it? How does one wean oneself off? How to stop obsessing? How to break free of the hypnotic spell? How to stop wallowing in the semi-conscious … Continue reading

May 8, 2014 · 1 Comment

SEEN ON EBAY : Old Print of Punished Women – Germany / Europe

The Photogravure Print: Undated with some German Text “BESTRAFTE KLATSCH & HANDELSUCHTE DER WEIBER”   jm May 2014  

May 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

SEEN ON EBAY: PORTRAIT of a DEVOTEE who had been standing eight years, day and night!

PORTRAIT of a DEVOTEE who had been standing eight years, day and night. (India) issued Boston: 1851. Fine original antique engraved woodblock view of native figures of India, printed on quality paper … Continue reading

May 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Extraordinary People – The Girl Next Door goes on a 100 km Walk!

She is literally the girl who lived next door! About a decade younger than me, she has a spirit that needs to be congratulated and celebrated! After all how many … Continue reading

May 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Jeju Crater – a place that I seem to know

The first time I saw this place it felt like I knew it intimately. The deep familiarity that I experienced alarms me even today. There are vague memories like those … Continue reading

May 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Hand Looms, Foot Looms and more

Many of the textile enthusiasts that I know, enjoy understanding the technicalities that go into the creation of the art. The loom type, the weave type, the knot structure etc … Continue reading

May 3, 2014 · 4 Comments

Vanished Without a Trace – A Clan of 84 Villages

TIME: Around 13th century. PLACE: Rajasthan PARADIGM: Extremely Caste Conscious Social Hierarchy STORY Kuldhara is village outside Jaisalmer.  It was the home of Paliwal Brahmins. Every region, has its unstated … Continue reading

May 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Story in a Nose Ring

Four times I have had my nose pierced. In spite of the fact that it is long & hook shaped and has provided all its viewers with immense mirth – … Continue reading

May 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

A LADAKHI LADY DONS HER HEIRLOOM JEWELRY

On the way back from interior Himalayas in September last year, we stopped at a tiny village in Skyurbuchan that had the only restaurant along the way, for a late … Continue reading

April 30, 2014 · 1 Comment

Ebay Spring Sale 2 – Ancient Coins from India

A few rare coins of ‘Very Fine’ quality classification also on sale on Ebay. Coins are beyond my realm of understanding – and these are a part of my husband’s … Continue reading

April 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Ebay Spring 2014 Sale 1 – Ethnic Textiles, Tribal Jewelry & Antiques

It is time to bid goodbye to some of the lovely things that I have loved & owned. Here are some of the ethnic textiles, tribal jewelry pieces and antiques … Continue reading

April 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

Inspired by the Gods – Jain Architecture

God can take one to great heights! I never really believed that until I began witnessing religious art created by inspired people. These works are inspired from deep within the … Continue reading

April 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

HALI Article on The Magnificent Perak Headdress of Ladakh

A glimpse of my article appearing in Spring 2014 issue of HALI – the world’s leading magazine focusing on Textile Arts:  “Heading off evil at high altitude” on the Perak … Continue reading

April 25, 2014 · 2 Comments

Double Sided Embroidery 1 – The Technique

While doing some research on newly acquired textiles with double-sided embroidery from Rajasthan & Swat valley, I came across this fantastic article. The Su double-sided embroidery from China is different … Continue reading

April 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

A visit to the ‘Florentine Renaissance Exhibit’ at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai

Life is short.  With time running out and only a few years left to live (definitely less than 30) I find myself making a stronger effort to make time for … Continue reading

April 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

My Wealth – I am Rich!

  There – I said it : I am RICH and here I show off my wealth:   When I turned 40 I looked forward and realised that if I … Continue reading

April 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei

Most are now woven on power looms but a few are still made on back-strap looms.   The Puanchei: The Puan is the simple wrap-around skirt with a few colors … Continue reading

April 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

Unparalleled Art in Architecture – Havelis of Jaisalmer

The unparalleled art in the architecture seen in the Havelis of Jaisalmer mesmerizes and leaves the visitor speechless. The spell cast by the beauty of the walls built with stone … Continue reading

April 20, 2014 · 1 Comment

Bombay – Meri Jaan

Photos of a few must-see places that are off the beaten path in Bombay-Mumbai – the liveliest city in the world! 1. Banganga – a stepped well born of a … Continue reading

April 19, 2014 · 1 Comment

Mumbai – Bombay Diaries

Born, brought up & lived life in the most spirited, most diverse city in the world. A few glimpses of my love for the city can be seen through the … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Need a Handmade Iron Tool? Go shop with the Gadaliya Lohar Tribe of Rajasthan

Hand made textiles I can understand – but seeing handmade iron tools on sale brought me face-to-face with my ignorance! As I walked through Jaisalmer, I came across 2 families … Continue reading

April 13, 2014 · 1 Comment

Streets of Jaisalmer

One of the best ways to experience a city is to walk through it. And Jaisalmer with its charming architecture, narrow lanes and friendly bystanders is a treat to explore … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · 1 Comment

Welcome to Jaisalmer Homes

Art mixed with daily living, art created within the home, art that cannot be separated from the people or purchased – that art evokes a unique fascination and respect. Indian … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

TWO WORLDS

Bhil Woman whose lifestyle remains rooted in the past even as her surroundings have moved into the future with the adoption of new technology. Rural Rajasthan, India

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – In search of Shade

Man and beast subject to the elements of nature in equal measure.  The fragility of the human’s sense of empowerment over nature, is accentuated in the extreme testing conditions such … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Hamlets & Herds

A photo-essay on the little hamlets & goat herds seen in Thar Desert region of Rajasthan. The photos cannot capture the emptiness of the space, or the heat, but they … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Where did the desert go?

A desert is not something that one sees often. So when I planned my trip to Rajasthan, I was excited about seeing the Thar desert (pronounced by local as Thudd)  … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Temple of Miracles in the Desert – Tanot Mata Mandir

Locals believe that it was the Goddess Tanot Mata that prevented the bombs from exploding in a war a few decades ago. And the Goddess became famous beyond the local … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Royal Cradles of Rajasthan

As I walk through the Mehrangarh Fort Museum hall exhibiting royal cradles, I cannot help but think about babies & nurturing & child-raising, about the tenets of parenting and the … Continue reading

April 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Living with Art – A Home in rural Rajasthan

On a highway outside Jaisalmer, driving at 80kmph, I spot an artistically decorated walled enclave. The driver is instructed to stop. He is first confused about my request to visit … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

The Caste Fortress

Growing up in cosmopolitan Mumbai we lived very closely with neighbors from various communities, sharing our struggles, our celebrations, our resources, our cooking ingredients, our food and sometimes even clothes … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 1 Comment

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