Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
I do not seek out Banjara textiles … yet when they do come my way, they tend to consume a lot of attention and love.
Here are two cholis or blouses I found recently.
1. The cholis or the blouses seen earlier are of a totally different style of banjara textiles. These were the first I saw without mirrors or embellishments and embroidered in the style seen on gallaas or patches.
2. The slubs in the handwoven cotton indicate that the spinning of the yarn was also rough and rustic. Delicious!
This technique seems to be much harder work than the simple cross stitch so why? Maybe because it would add an additional layer? Maybe it is just a quick adaptation of a technique used on larger rougher pieces?
5. Finally, sifting through all the Banjara work there seem to be at least 4 different styles of textile art practiced. Now that the thought has occurred, it will be impossible not to investigate the reasons for these differences. Are these the creations of different sub-tribes? Or is it that one style is used for one function of textiles? Or is it just a matter of what mood the artist is in when she begins her artwork?
An older note on the same subject:
Oct 31, 2014
UPDATE (Nov 2, 2014)
Steve Wallace, a collector [from Adelaide Australia] replied with pictures of pieces from his Banjara collection acquired about 25 years ago.
Both pieces are similar to the one above as they have animals and birds and what’s more – even humans!
One directly from a Banjara woman and one from the state emporium of Maharashtra state. This gives us a clue that this type of work might represent the work from Banjaras settled in Maharashtra and not further South.
The Choli Blouse:
The Betel Nut Case:
All very interesting motifs. All of the pieces on this page have similar work and are from the same group. But these are altogether different from the other Banjara works seen….
The mystery continues.
jm Nov 2014
By Jaina Mishra