Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
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 decorate their lives. Art that is infused into the objects of daily use.
A poignant example is the textile art of the Banjara group in India. The pieces shown below are all made for self-consumption.
3. Money Belt
4. Cradle Cloth
Within this group of textiles we see several motifs repeated across the textiles.
a. The Moutain Peaks
b. The Checkerboard
c. The Escher Arrowheads
(Just as it is in Escher’s drawings both the figure and the ground are arrowheads and one cannot tell which was meant to be the figure and which was meant to be the ground)
d. The Double Helix of DNA?
[I used to have a little Lilihan rug that “clearly” had the double-helix pattern – protein molecules included
e. Flow Chart or Chain Reaction?
In the simpler motifs, the color combinations seem to have received special attention by the creators.
Maybe these textiles were created not only as visual art but also as mathematical art. Maybe they were created with motifs that meant something to them. Maybe we just do not have the cipher needed to understand them!
Or maybe I am just hoping for too much meaning where there is none…