Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
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 execution of these tenets. Here are some thoughts:
The most important features that affect the personality of an adult besides genetics, is the memetics he is imbued with in his early years until adolescence.
His experiences, intellectual, emotional, physical and social determine the way the individual will think in adulthood.
I do not know any royal families – but through circumstance I happened to know a few industrialist families in India with old wealth.
Over the years I gathered that their upbringing was slightly different (compared to mine) with respect to the ideology or upbringing (and of course also with respect to material wealth etc etc). In their case, the whole extended family, the parents, the uncles & aunts and especially the grandparents were all raising the future leaders for their organisation. The lap-top naps of little children with grandmas, the dinner table discussions with adolescents, always contained stories of wisdom, vision and values – stories that would form the mindset of the child, one meme at a time. Acquisition of information was left tot the schools and teaching institutions but this crucial aspect of character-building was retained by the elders of the family.
My guess is that the royals also followed this rule.
It is easy to imagine this practice being carried out in the royal household. One in which the interiors are so beautiful that the beauty alone is sufficient reason to stay indoors. And with the mind entrapped in this beauty, with all restlessness quelled, the elders carried out their training, with gentle and clever tactics using love and rigor to create fine individuals capable of carrying out their future responsibilities. And to ensure that there is no dilution of their memes that the child acquires, it was necessary to keep out the influences of other layers of society. And so the children were protected and raised carefully within the boundaries of royal homes.
[Stories of Shivaji and other royals do have references to the influences of his family.]
But coming back to the royal chambers for children, here are some photos of royal cradles from the Mehrangarh Fort Museum, Jodhpur, Rajasthan,
[photos all taken on the phone camera]