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A Lesson in Humility

This Pua Kumbu Sungkit (Link) that has just recently arrived to grace my life, reminded me of a personal anecdote that taught me a lesson.

Years ago, I saw my very first Pua Kumbu Sungkit on Facebook.

I was smitten by it and I made a brave tentative inquiry and asked the dealer for the price.

In the conversation that followed I was dismissively told that it was over a few thousand dollars. And was denied a decent reply.

At that time I was tinier than I am today as a collector and there was nothing to do but feel bad and go back into my cave.

But I did wonder at the arrogance of that collector – after all he wasn’t the one that had made it.

What then was the reason for his high & mighty behavior?

I was forced to think through the whole episode many times and even today I simply do not understand.

But through the analysis and through all the Q&A between me and myself on random walks at random times, my own principles and attitudes to collecting evolved.

I realised that in the journey of any artwork through history I was merely a temporary custodian and completely insignificant. The piece was born before me and will live on after me.

And anyone who connects to me is only doing so because of the beauty of the artwork – not some great accomplishment of my own. We are all co-worshippers at the altar of beauty of antique textiles. And simply because I have it at the moment does not make me superior. Ownership of an artwork does not make us great ….especially as such pieces cannot be possessed completely at all.

In my opinion, the only ones who have the right to be proud of thes works are the weavers and the artisans who created them. And they are the humblest and sweetest of people.

So the arrogance of the collector at his ownership taught me humility.

I don’t recall who that collector was – but am glad I learnt this important lesson and formed my own thoughts through his behavior.

***

jm

Oct 2020

wovensouls.com

3 comments on “A Lesson in Humility

  1. karen rom korman
    October 6, 2020

    Thank you Jaina; beautifully put and so apt.

  2. Brinda
    October 22, 2020

    Thank you for sharing your experience, thoughtful sentiment, beautifully expressed.

  3. Naimur Rahman
    May 3, 2021

    What a quaint mini-museum you have here!

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This entry was posted on October 6, 2020 by in Art Kaleidoscope, Life Lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

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