Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
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 lunch.
There, we befriended a lady who lived in the area who agreed to don her heirloom jewels for me and my Nikon.
The road we were on was cut out of a tall Himalayan mountain at a level that was about half the height and ran along the banks of the river that was around 300 meters below the level of the road. (I have no real estimation skills – this is just my guess). The river was narrow and the other bank also had tall Himalayan mountains. The horizon created by the mountains was within 500 meters on both sides and only along the river’s course could we see a few kilometers ahead.
A picture from that area: [do not miss the river that appears in the bottom-right of the photo]
Coming back to the story of the lady: I expected her home to be around the corner – but it turned out to be a few kilometers away. She got into the car with us and we drove UP to her house.
The river runs in the space between the house and the mountain that is seen behind it.
So we entered and while her older relative made us some very welcome tea.
The flower-medallion on her waist is called a Shyuptze or Rhyuptse and is very rare. This floret is also seen on pieces that have not just a waist belt but also a shoulder strap attached.
The collar she is putting on is simply amazing and in all my research & festival travels within Ladakh and book research on Ladakh this is a piece of jewelry I have never come across until this moment. The square piece that sits on the collar has been noted on other skeypuks.
Wearing the simplified Perak:
Here she is being helped to wear the Perak
This region of Ladakh is known to have the most extravagant styles of jewelry!
It is also Apricot Country!
We have laughed and had fun and now its difficult to contain ourselves for the pictures!
Saying Good bye to the house, the people and a memorable afternoon!
(The little wall in the left bottom corner is the compound wall of the lady’s house)
Imagine living up there!!
Posting April 2014
Trip in Sept 2013