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

Science & Art in the Tibetan Astrological Calendar Sidpaho

Predicting the future and fortunes of an individual based on the movement of the planets across the reference matrix of the constellations, presupposes knowledge of astronomy. With very few instruments … Continue reading

August 22, 2017 · Leave a comment

Textile Pride

Here’s what you get when a country is proud of its textile culture: Very impressive PDA (Public Display of Affection)! Aug 2017 All photos from the internet  

August 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

Online Exhibition – Tampan Ship Cloths from Sumatra

Introduction The magnetic appeal of Textile Arts, to me, is directly proportional to – the art – the craft – the symbolism – the cultural story and – the usage … Continue reading

July 22, 2017 · Leave a comment

Book Recommendation

A good introductory book to enigmatic Mustang.

July 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Romance of a Dowry

In primary school one school teacher talked of the ‘bottom drawer’ in which a girl puts in all the things she wants to take with her to her second home. … Continue reading

June 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Life in the Years / Years in the Life

“It’s not the years in the life that matter – it is the life in the years that count”

June 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

Weekend Musings – We shall never know ..

Exploring a whole new culture and its history, its evolution and the reasons that make it what it is today … is like taking a journey with imperfect lenses not … Continue reading

May 27, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Bonona Festival of the Himalayan Aryans

October 2016 A trip to the interiors of the Himalayan ranges. A journey that would have taken 6 days by animal carriers 40 years ago but today takes 7 hours. … Continue reading

May 24, 2017 · 1 Comment

Back into the Home & Hearth of the Himalayan Aryan People

October 2016 The kitchen is a very intimate space. It is where many facets of my habits, my work style, my skills, my character, my thinking are revealed. And so, … Continue reading

May 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 8 – Tibetan Calendar

The Tibetan calendar begins at Losar and has either 12 or 13 months each beginning and ending with the new moon. Every two or three years a 13th month is … Continue reading

May 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 7 – Mongolian Charts

Mongolian Buddhism is heavily influenced by the Tibetan form that combines Vajrayana Buddhism with Tantric concepts. But Mongolian Buddhism had a unique identity too. Introduced during the period of the … Continue reading

May 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 6 – Batak Calendar

The Batak Calendar system has 12 months and follows the phases of the moon and the sighting of the constellations. Some basic facts the month is divided into 3 groups … Continue reading

May 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 5 – Thai Calendar

In Thailand, as in most of Asia, the lunar calendar contains twelve or thirteen months in a year, with 15 waxing moon and 14 or 15 waning moon days in … Continue reading

May 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 4 – Myanmar Mandala Spirit Cloths

Mandala Spirit Cloths from Myanmar were commissioned by families of means and created by learned men and monks. They are believed to have healing / protective powers and the power … Continue reading

May 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 3 – Astrological Birth Charts

Part 3 in the series of notes on Astrological Calendars A janampatri or kundali is a Birth Chart prepared as per Vedic Astrology. It is a particular system of prediction … Continue reading

May 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 2 – Palelitangan Calendars of Bali

Part 2 on the series of notes on Astrological Calendars The Balinese calendar integrates the Indian-derived lunar (saka) calendar with an indigenous system of weekly cycles (wuku) which constitute a … Continue reading

May 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Astrological Calendars – 1 – Palindon Calendars of Bali

Palindon are  calendars depicting the 12 months and the deity associated with that month. The painted scenes for each month illustrate the written predictions. The style is characteristic of the … Continue reading

May 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

Foretelling the Future in the Past – Astrological Calendars

In the past, the future seems to have been a very important idea and the ability to foretell it conferred immense powers on those who could make accurate predictions. Beginning … Continue reading

May 15, 2017 · 2 Comments

The Astitva Project – A Report on the Micro Project in Ladakh – Chapter 2

The Story They say that ‘when the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly’ – stressing the importance of the planning that must … Continue reading

May 12, 2017 · 4 Comments

Give us this day our daily bread 

The art of making bread or roti

May 4, 2017 · Leave a comment

External Article: In the Shade of the Royal Umbrella

An external link to start the week with! Link May 2017

May 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

Wearing the Neck Rings – Cultural Tradition of the Karen Tribe 

The process of putting the rings on the neck of girls from he Long Neck Karen Tribe

May 1, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Culture Celebrates Identity! Happy New Year!

I have grown up in Mumbai …. in a neighborhood that was made of up mainly Maharashtrian and Gujarati residents (us). I learnt both language even before I knew what … Continue reading

March 30, 2017 · Leave a comment

Shigmo Utsav Festival 2017 Goa

Connected to our roots through the amazing Shigmo folk festival parade in Panaji. Proud of all the regular people participating so wholeheartedly in this parade Proud of the absence of … Continue reading

March 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

Choosing A Wedding Dress – Swat Valley Textiles

Choosing is wedding dress can be tough – especially when each is a stunning work of textile art. Presenting a few vintage and antique bridal dresses from the Swat Valley region

March 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Ballad by the Bauls of Bengal

A glimpse of the music by the Bauls the wandering minstrels of Bengal

February 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

Where the Men are Liberated

In most places around the globe, the world has imprisoned men in clothing of plain colors – colors that ensure that the wearers melt into the background. The most they are allowed is a strip of color in the form of a tie. [But don’t be fooled – it is mostly lip-service – out of the 5 feet of fabric, only about 1 foot is allowed to peep through from under the coat!! ]

February 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Home Decor Art: Embroidery on Pot Cushions

  “Pot Cushions? What on earth is a Pot Cushion?  And why would anyone put embroidery on it?!” This is the incredulous response of my friend – raised in the … Continue reading

February 19, 2017 · 1 Comment

Let’s Celebrate the Rooster!

A Very Happy New Year from Singapore! Wishing everyone a year of Prosperity & Good Health in the Year of the Rooster! Gong Xi Fa Cai embroidery; costume; antiques; artifact; … Continue reading

January 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Seat for the Gods 

Furniture is so hard to photograph!! And this piece was not even meant to be furniture! It was the seat on a bullock cart. Not an ordinary seat for you … Continue reading

January 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Goals for Tattoo Lovers

They say be careful about tattoos because you have to live with them for the rest of your life. When I turned 40 I realised that I was way into … Continue reading

January 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Way We Were

Stunning larger than life print from the collection of negatives of Souza & Paul, Goa’s oldest photo studio, presented by the Serendipity Arts Festival. Soooo beautiful!! Jm Dec 2016   … Continue reading

December 23, 2016 · Leave a comment

Lives lived differently 

Goa. 2016. And people still fish for their dinner. As these men and I are now neighbours, it is time I adopt some of their ways. 1. Eat what you … Continue reading

December 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

I met Begum Hazrat Mahal

Meeting people from that lived more than a century before one is born, is usually not possible. If one restricts the meeting to one within the physical realm it is … Continue reading

December 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

One More to Decipher! A Phulkari Textile

A Temple Hanging from Punjab with its unique motifs makes it an intriguing subject to explore!

November 6, 2016 · 1 Comment

Selk’Nam People

We talk of “vanishing” cultures…. here is one that has vanished. The Selk’nam also known as the Onawo or Ona, used to live in Patagonia. Most photos by anthropologist Martin … Continue reading

October 14, 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

Kashi nu Maran – The Flood of Ganga – 2016

According to a famous saying in Gujarati – my mother tongue –  one can attain Nirvana (bliss) through two simple ways: “Surat nu Jaman ke Kashi nu Maran” i.e. (By … Continue reading

September 3, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Holy River Ganga

A few sunrise photos captured on the phone camera of the important Ganga whose significance to Hindus is as deep as its waters.   This may seem obvious – but … Continue reading

August 30, 2016 · 1 Comment

Ganga Diaries

An unplanned visit to the Ganga came my way. For spiritual reasons. For filial piety reasons. For ceremonies that complete the cycle of life & death. Measured in the number … Continue reading

August 29, 2016 · 5 Comments

Pattua Singing from Bengal

In Bengal, in the olden days, in order to disseminate the holy stories, folk legends adn perhaps even news of major events, Pattua scrolls were used. Women first painted out … Continue reading

August 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

Homage to Subarnalata

Subarnalata lived a long time ago. Mainly in the imagination of the author – but nevertheless, she did live. Her life was probably borrowed from the author Ashapurna Debi’s own … Continue reading

July 31, 2016 · 1 Comment

Parsis and the Opium Trade

Yesterday at a condolence visit, the conversation with my top mentors, inadvertently veered into the subject of collectibles and we spoke of many random subjects such as his encounter with … Continue reading

July 24, 2016 · 2 Comments

External Link: Bali’s Island of the Dead

A note about the unique ritual in Bali.   Extrenal Link

July 7, 2016 · Leave a 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 · 2 Comments

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 · 1 Comment

Rich & Poor

The Barber comes home…. Do we in the big city have this luxury? A little village with its own little wheels of economic output, buying and selling services that are … Continue reading

May 13, 2016 · 1 Comment

External Article: Caste System

Worth reading “Why is the world so obsessed with India’s caste system” by Sahana Singh    

May 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Beauty begets Beauty

Old Rabari Great-grandmother working on her embroidery. Photo taken in 2012 in Gujarat.   jm May 2016

May 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

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