The Wovensouls Journal


Art of the Universe – Yao Shaman Robes

Yao painting scrolls, Yao dragon bridges and now Yao Shaman robes! The Yao group has created several forms of art while pursuing their spiritual goals! Led by priests called Shamans, … Continue reading

October 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

Mother of Pearl Inlay – Art in Wood

Exploring the art of carving out pictures in wood and then filling them with the beautiful contrasting mother-of-pearl bits cut to size. Precision is absolutely essential in the craft! The art allows us glimpses into the cultural ethos of the time it was made. Natural beautyf, music and the arts seem to be of great importance!

September 23, 2016 · 3 Comments

Book Recommendation – Yao Culture & Art

   “How to make the Universe Right” The book goes into the spiritual practices of the Yao people. The deep  reliance on the supporting art used makes the book very … Continue reading

September 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

Wood Art from Ancient China 

An attempted burglary resulted in a forced movement of our furniture. These pieces had been tucked away in a place that I visited with high frequency but low attention-depth. Every … Continue reading

September 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Talk: “Wedding Embroideries of Kutch”

A presentation of the Talk held at the Textile Museum Washington D.C. in June 2016.

September 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

One more Hybrid – A Paithani weave from Benaras

A lot of people frown upon hybrids ….. I have no view on the subject. If evolutionary forces caused this to occur then so be it …. I am no … Continue reading

September 10, 2016 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – Pathan Embroidery

 A Pathan tablecloth with motifs that are seen even in the forehead-tattoos of Pathani women. More images here. ❤️ jm Sept 2016

September 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Palace on the Ganga – Art in Architecture

  Just pictures of a lovely place that has the atmosphere of serenity and quietude. The opulence is in the atmosphere created – rather than in its fixtures.     … Continue reading

September 5, 2016 · 2 Comments

A Hybrid is Born

In the olden days textile-art hybrids came about when a woman married into another group and brought with her art-memes from her parental culture. Today the world has shrunk and … Continue reading

August 31, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Art of Garlanding Flowers

Garlands are used at a range of events in India – to honor politicians, to mark birthdays, in the wedding ceremony and in funeral ceremonies. Flowers that are beautiful on … Continue reading

August 28, 2016 · 1 Comment

Handlooms of India

The title of this note is misleading as it is too broad – it is like saying ‘the universe’… I am sure that even if I were to toil 10 … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · Leave a comment

Diversity in Folk Art – Bone Carvings

Exploring one more medium of folk art – Bones!

August 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Tragedy of Uprooted Art

There are all forms of art in the world. Some portable and transferable and others that were meant to remain where they were created. At a recent visit to a … Continue reading

July 29, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Mashru Loom

My knowledge of weaving techniques is minimal – so I might be wrong in thinking that the Masru or Mashru loom is a complicated one. But the few looms that … Continue reading

July 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

Memories of a Sublime Experience – Balinese Art

Memories of a sublime art experience in Bali

July 11, 2016 · 2 Comments

Learning History through Art – Conquest of Kanchi & a Glass of Milk

In this painting from Odisha, Jagannath & Balabhadra are on a journey and are offered a drink of milk by milkmaid Manika. The History and Her Story: One of the … Continue reading

July 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

Woven Leaves of Bali

In the touristy journeys from one part of Bali to another, the one art that jumps at the traveler, whether or not one is looking, is the art of basketry. … Continue reading

July 5, 2016 · 1 Comment

Warding Off Evil – Enigmatic Dayak Baby Carrier

One more stunning work of art created for the purpose of warding off evil and deflecting the evil eye! A Dayak Baby carrier with sveeral spirit motifs, a variety of … Continue reading

July 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

Art in service of Culture – A Sindoor Box

As I say in my lectures – traditional art in Asia is rarely ever “art for art’s sake” and almost always has a second layer hidden beneath. It is either … Continue reading

July 2, 2016 · 1 Comment

Exotic Art from an Exotic Era

We all read the newspapers even today. But in the past 4-5 years, newspapers have been replaced by the internet as my main source of news. By the time I … Continue reading

July 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

Salute the Batak Textile Weaver’s Genius!

Sometimes the beauty contained within a subject is so deep and limitless that the soul is never satisfied no matter how long one beholds it. There is always one more … Continue reading

June 27, 2016 · 1 Comment

Antique Thai Calendar Paintings

  The logic of the twelve Thai Zodiac signs follows the logic of Chinese zodiac signs and defines a person’s fortune based on the  ‘year’ or birth rather than the … Continue reading

June 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

Art of Africa – Kente Cloths

A piece in a museum store priced at US$4000 (only) caught my eye. Such a high valuation piqued my interest and I began reading. The palimpsest of Kente cloths is … Continue reading

June 11, 2016 · 2 Comments

March of the Elephants – Naga Cloth Art

Surely this must mean something! One day I will learn what that is! In the meanwhile let’s enjoy the art: This Angami Naga cloth is a part of the wovensouls … Continue reading

June 9, 2016 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – Tantric Shaman’s Ceremonial Costume

  Beautifully hand carved apron, crown, arm bands  and breastbands made of yak bone. This type of costume is worn in some tantric ceremonies by high priests in certain forms … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Ayuthaya Paintings

    One more style of painting – one more delectable recipe that makes the senses dance int his ongoing visual feast – Ayutthaya paintings from Thailand. The subject matter … Continue reading

May 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Warli Paintings on Dung

The original idea was to use the cow dung walls of homes as the medium to paint on using white pigment made of rice & gum. Then at some point … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Lontar Baskets

  “There is no limit to creativity” – these cliched words come alive with these palm leaf baskets that have been decorated with beads … When the first artist created … Continue reading

May 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

Royal Loin Cloths of Ceylon

Exploring some amazing rare antique loin cloths of Ceylon

May 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

18th Century Transport!

Painting of 18th century transport:   Offered by Tremont Auction House. Sold for US$1300 (2016)     jm March 2016  

March 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

News from the National Museum Delhi

25 Feb to 25 April 2016 About the Exhibition As richly patterned silks embellished with gold and silver threads, Banarasi Brocade Saris represent the acme of the subcontinent’s hand – … Continue reading

March 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

News from the Met Museum

A new exhibition featuring manuscript paintings (and therefore textiles in paintings) and textiles exploring medieval Islamic textiles in the 20th Century titled Transformed: Medieval Syrian and Iranian Art in the … Continue reading

March 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

News from the National Museum Delhi

An interesting pre-exhibition note by the curator on bringing the  exhibition “The Everlasting Flame Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination”  to Delhi. “A curator’s view: some key items from the British … Continue reading

March 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

Picking a Bone …

Picking a bone …. Not exactly any bone. But a Kapala bone. A bone from the skull of a deceased Buddhist Lamaji. Under the assumption that his wisdom and powers … Continue reading

March 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

Adornments to Entice

In many cultures in the Eastern hemisphere, lifestyle devices are structured with the intention of security and protection. Clothes and costumes are designed to deflect the viewer’s eyes rather than … Continue reading

February 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Mother’s Labor of Love – Kohistani Baby’s Cap

In other places mothers-to-be and grandmas-to-be knit booties and mittens for the expected new arrivals. In Kohistan they make a cap. Such amazing work can only be born as a … Continue reading

February 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

To Touch My Hero

Hero worship is a BIG thing for me. To dream about meeting them and listening to them and following their footsteps and imbuing a part of their spirit. But mostly, … Continue reading

January 31, 2016 · 2 Comments

The Fabulous Biboki weaving of Timor!

Double Sided supplementary weft (or warp?) weave from the Biboki people of Timor.   An antique example: A betel nut bag:   A vintage example:   And a fantastic paper … Continue reading

January 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

A New Museum with a Fabulous Fresh Focus!

A museum or rather an institution that focuses on perpetuating the art amongst the creators … a museum in which the creators can see and learn from the work of … Continue reading

January 25, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Hunger of an Unfulfilled Dream – Mughal Ganjifa Cards

Years ago, in 2006, I met a friend from high school. We used to be very close in school as only girls can be. And then life happened and we … Continue reading

January 23, 2016 · Leave a comment

Hair Ornaments from Asia

Just some photos! Lambani People Silver Braid Ends – that take at least an hour to fix! And help is needed from other women – mother-in-law or sister in law … Continue reading

January 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

Protective Spirits from the Past

  There are Dayak Baby Carriers and then there are Dayak Baby Carriers. Spirits in some recent ones are wearing clothing and jewelry – like vests and underwear!  Maybe it … Continue reading

January 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

Textiles in Ancient Balinese Paintings

Life is full of choices and the worst challenges are choosing between two bad choices or between two good choices. Shall I buy a painting or a textile? Shall I … Continue reading

January 14, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Romance Unfolds through Art

  A love story in an old Bracelet from Qajar Persia. Miniature Paintings on Bone some Gold illuminated, others, copper illuminated!!! Very pretty, very detailed paintings. The story is told … Continue reading

January 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

Claim to Fame

When a place is introduced through somethings produced in that region, chances are that that association lasts for a long time. When a dealer informed me that such and such … Continue reading

January 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

An Enchanted afternoon with a Master Kamasan Artist

A gift of serendipity – an enchanted afternoon with a master artist in Bali:

‘…..I saw framed artworks , some that were old, some not so old, all over the walls…..’

December 31, 2015 · 1 Comment

Book of the Month – Dec 2015

   Superb Reference book!  Dec 2015

December 30, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Antique Dayak Baby Carrier

  ATS- Superbly crafted beaded Dayak Baby carrier from Kalimantan   This is the only one that I have seen that has the 3 rims (upper, left & right) covered … Continue reading

December 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Ceremonial Sumatra Weaving

A stunning festive weaving from pre-1900 Sumatra

December 26, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix

Old Food Covering appropriate for a ceremonial feast! Made of Coconut shell and decorated with sea-shells. Indonesia – probably Sumba. Part of a museum collection   jm Dec 2015   … Continue reading

December 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,993 other followers



October 2016
« Sep