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Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Born Free ……A Group of 4 Textiles with a Wild Spirit!

Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart

Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star

– Lyrics by John Barry

 Here is a group of Odhanas [shawls that cover the head and body] from Rajasthan, with a Khadad (handspun coarse thick cotton) base in rust or aubergine, embroidered with cotton thread. Yellow borders are common in shawls from the Shekhawat region and the Bishnoi community.

Seen in this group of 4 textiles, is the spirit that is free, wild, unfettered and unrestricted!

The character of the textile reflects the lifestyle of the creators – the Bishnois – who live as one with nature and their surroundings.

The commonality across the four textiles – the use of an unusual color and the randomness in the layout  – suggest that all four originate from the same village or sub-tribe.

These pieces are among the simplest and most rustic in my collection. Yet they make me so proud to know them and to behold them! There is something very special going on in them – their innocence, their naivete – that warms my heart.

Odhana 1 ATI-754

ATI-754 SHEKHWATI ODHANA SHAWL TEXTILE RAJASTHAN 20

A IMG_7490

Odhana 2 ATI-755

IMG_7495

a IMG_7492

Odhana 3 ATI-777

OLD BISHNOI WEDDING SHAWL FROM SHEKHAWAT RAJASTHAN

OLD BISHNOI WEDDING SHAWL FROM SHEKHAWAT RAJASTHAN

Odhana 4 ATI-753

VTI-753 SHEKHWATI ODHANA SHAWL TEXTILE RAJASTHAN 30

VTI-753 SHEKHWATI ODHANA SHAWL TEXTILE RAJASTHAN 29

It is a pleasure to study these and wonder about their creation!

To view detailed pictures of these free thinking textile artworks please click here

jm

March 2015

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