The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

The Camel Caravan is Ready to Move

The caravan is rising again.  Awakening from its slumber – getting together its material resources and reigning in all the spiritual energies. Another journey ahead. What preparations remain before we … Continue reading

June 6, 2019 · Leave a comment

Old World Charm – Awadh Perfume Purse

Experiencing the romance of the old world of Awadh, India through a silver ornament no longer in use.

May 29, 2019 · Leave a comment

No Shoes Indoors

The origins of this  gently-but-strictly enforced rule in all traditional Asian homes might be many. But I think the real reason is the art that is displayed on the floor…. … Continue reading

May 9, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Note on Phulkari Classification

A compilation of my jottings on Phulkaris Textiles of Punjab

April 30, 2019 · 4 Comments

One Old Lady meets Another

The paint has worn out. And there are plenty of nicks on the woodwork, each telling an unforgetable tale. Layers of old paint shed – layers of fresh paint applied … Continue reading

April 28, 2019 · Leave a comment

Long Live the Spirit of Mumbai!

Pydhonie, Mumbai, April 16, 2019. It is in the midst of the wholesale markets for everything. It is in this area that Dhirubhai Ambani began as a yarn trader. Millions … Continue reading

April 17, 2019 · 3 Comments

Memories of Nagaland

The wealth of one’s life is the memories we collect – for only these can travel with us everywhere and be summoned at a moment’s notice to light up our … Continue reading

April 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Tears in Heaven

We never love quite as much as at the time of saying goodbye…. I loved this piece – I loved the artist who lived a hundred years ago – I … Continue reading

March 29, 2019 · Leave a comment

Textile Study Tour of Punjab

Preface on the minor notes about the textile study tour, Punjab, 2019

March 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Olden Days – Punjab

Can you feel the peace in this village? It is almost as if time had stopped still here: That era always attracts me and makes me wistful …the helplessness of … Continue reading

February 25, 2019 · 3 Comments

Glimpses of Punjab

A few photos that offer a little cultural flavour of the style Punjab. It was a delight to witness the preservation of ethnic identity in-spite of the tsunami of bland … Continue reading

February 24, 2019 · 3 Comments

Conversations – The Soul of Punjab

A few photos of the grand old women and men who were young at the time of the “hallaa” … the Partition.

Over deep conversations about phulkaris, over chai & pakodas followed by parathas & butter, we bonded – discussing the culture of their youth, of their childhood homes and the culture of the time.

February 21, 2019 · 2 Comments

A Textile Lover’s Dream

7am As I struggled to walk barefoot at 15 degrees Centigrade on even colder marble floors – suddenly I see this vision: An unopened pile of textiles …who knows what … Continue reading

February 20, 2019 · 1 Comment

The Story of a Skirt from Punjab

This is a little story about the background of a Punjabi textile that is a few metres long. It is about the culture of Punjab from a century ago. It … Continue reading

February 19, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Phulkari Fan from the Olden Days

Here’s another cultural remnant of the olden days in Punjab – A ceiling fan decorated with Phulkari work: The rope is used to swing the fan and is held by … Continue reading

February 5, 2019 · 2 Comments

A Charkha Spinning Wheel

Sighting of a decorated Charkha Spinning Wheel – used in a vanishing craft

February 3, 2019 · 1 Comment

Wearing her mother’s Bridal Haalvan Phulkari

A “haalvan” phulkari is done on very fine cotton cloth that is similar to mul mul. This is the first time I held one in my hand! All bridal textiles … Continue reading

January 30, 2019 · 2 Comments

Heaven is THIS

My view of heavenly bliss

January 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

Opium Culture – History in Art

There is too much that I do not know anything about and the role that opium played in the history of China is one of them. Were it not for … Continue reading

December 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

Veneration of Human Spirit – Jain Painting

Heroic act spellbind us. And spur us on to do more, to push ourselves a little bit more and to give life the very best of ourselves. In Bombay, there … Continue reading

November 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Krishna Janmashtami

Celebrating the birth of Krishna in the small village of Brittona in Goa with a dahi handi! The earthenware pot filled with dahi and home made butter is suspended between … Continue reading

September 3, 2018 · 3 Comments

The Astitva Project – Phase II Launch

Read about the Introduction & Conception here. *** May 2018 There are only TWO men, in the entire ethnic group who know how to make the woven cummerbund worn by … Continue reading

June 14, 2018 · 3 Comments

Wealth of  Ladakh 

Photos of photo prints of women wearing traditional jewelry at festivals.  The magnificentv Petak headdress has been discussed earlier.  But the  others have not received enough attention!  Here are sone … Continue reading

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Nomadic Weavings of Chanthang

Seen in the Himalayas in the Chanthang desert in Eastern Ladakh.  Their living spaces Let’s gp in … To see their home & their weavings ​(videa to follow later) Volunteers: … Continue reading

May 20, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Visit to Phyang Monastery

Sat still within the ancient halls with only a young monk in attendance. Time passed unmarked by minutes and seconds. What do these matter when the walls have seen centuries!  … Continue reading

May 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Traditional Hearth

Serving up food for the tummy as well aa the soul!  It is the place where the whole family congregates over aclong breakfast of “khambheer” – hot thick rotis made … Continue reading

May 3, 2018 · Leave a comment

There’s No Limit to Creativity – Jewelry from Assam

Sharing the beautiful gemstone-studded traditional jewelry of Assam

April 19, 2018 · Leave a comment

Inspirational People from the Himalayas

When people push themselves beyond the limits of normal human capability, it is always admirable. A few years ago I’d read about the kora or parikrama that Tibetans performed as … Continue reading

April 17, 2018 · 1 Comment

Manila Manton Shawls – Early Global Textiles

Presenting a small online exhibition of palimpsest textiles – with layers of art, craft and culture contained within: The Canton Shawl aka Manila Manton aka Fringed Flapper Shawl

April 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Astitva Project – Phase II

Soon we will begin the next phase of the micro project. We will work with the same ethnic group that we did last time but this time it will be … Continue reading

April 6, 2018 · 1 Comment

How did Elibelinde travel to the Swat Valley?

One more example of migration of cultural memes that might hold a clue to historical events

March 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

My Ceremonial Textiles

In India we have so many life ceremonies! Every Hindu goes through or is supposed to go through 16 important ones and dozens of lesser ones. So one attends one’s … Continue reading

March 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Travel Plans

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving (Lao Tzu) I long to evolve to this level of life! Maybe I will plan my next … Continue reading

February 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Goa Carnaval 2018

Something to do over the weekend in case you are in Goa!  Delighted to find local culture in the themes of the floats!  Delighted to find people of all ages … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

An English Test – A Traveller’s Tales

A decade or more ago, we were traveling on a train in India – from Mumbai to Bhopal. My children were less than 12 years old and we all enjoyed … Continue reading

February 6, 2018 · 1 Comment

Art in Gold for a Goan Wedding

I cannot imagine how it is that the Goan found the time between cultivating their unbelievable rice, cooking and eating their amazing curries and enjoying the subsequent coma-like siestas that … Continue reading

February 3, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Irony of my tiny Astrological Thangka Collection

It is ironical and even absurd that my journey in collecting Tibetan material began from being impressed by their ideology of renunciation of material wealth! The life seen in Tibet … Continue reading

January 27, 2018 · Leave a comment

Blessing Containers in Silver

How many people have others praying for them? Am certain that I have fewer today than I had 50 years ago. And so as these blessings become rarer, I value … Continue reading

December 8, 2017 · Leave a comment

Mother & Child – A Crime Scene in Silk

Clearly this is a part of a larger legend that I am not familiar with yet. And so the cultural crime story intrigues me as much as the art and … Continue reading

December 2, 2017 · 3 Comments

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 · 1 Comment

Book Recommendation

A good introductory book to enigmatic Mustang.

July 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Romance of a Dowry or Trousseau

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 · 2 Comments

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 · 1 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 · 6 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

Art in A Phulkari Temple Hanging

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

Benaras 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

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 this … Continue reading

May 8, 2016 · 1 Comment

External Link: A Wedding in Central Asia

I do not understand the words – but the beauty can be seen and understood easily! LINK  

May 5, 2016 · 1 Comment

Little Purses for Big Money

Coin purses from the olden days …. When the coins were small & made of gold & silver and their value was huge! When there was no fiat money or … Continue reading

April 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

And we thought ornaments were only for people? Traditional Animal Adornments – 2

  Link to PART I And the journey continues….   Part II These are adornments filled with love for the animal. For why else would one create such artworks for … Continue reading

March 13, 2016 · 1 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 · 1 Comment

Postcards from the Past – Old Dayak Costumes

And they now all march on towards jeans+t-shirts!   Photo of a postcard from the 70s-80s

February 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Carnival @ Goa

The Carnival @ Goa, Panaji. Very inclusive street party with floats put up by villages and individuals – the parade had participants from all profile  groups, the young & the … Continue reading

February 7, 2016 · 1 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 · 1 Comment

Understanding the Y – Women not allowed in Sabarimala Temple

It is easy to rake up activism simply for the sake of it. After all we have all been raised on inspirational sayings  like “be the change you want to … Continue reading

January 26, 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 · 1 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 · 1 Comment

Book Recommendation

Textiles of Afghanistan

January 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

An Affluent Community Endangered?!

Parsis or Zorastrians number only about 75000 worldwide and in spite of being one of the most affluent communities in the world, they are an endangered ethnic group. They have … Continue reading

January 16, 2016 · 2 Comments

Side Effects of Religion

With the world slowly going crazy and the use of religion as a platform to justify it all, it is natural that there are discussions everywhere on this provocative subject. … Continue reading

January 10, 2016 · 2 Comments

A Precious Package for a Precious Bundle – Dayak Baby Carrier

One more precious carrier for a precious baby! Over a dozen types of trade beads, some extremely fine, some multicolored, some from one of the 3 groups of mutisalah beads, … Continue reading

January 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

Lambanis Celebrating Life  – Festive Dance

Ceremonial Dance of the Lambani group

January 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

Rare Textiles from Tiny Tribes

Presenting two textiles from really small protected tribes in Orissa, Eastern India. I have seen these worn by the people there but not on sale anywhere. Both were acquired directly … Continue reading

January 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

So Far yet So Close – The Culture of Bali

Bali is about 4500 km away from India by flight. So far. Yet the seeds of culture planted centuries ago have thrived in that soil and the culture today is … Continue reading

January 1, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Cup of Unusual Brew

A Cup of Unusual Brew – a note on Luwak Coffee

December 30, 2015 · 1 Comment

A Batak Manuscript – Book of Ritual Knowledge

A good example of a Batak manuscript or Pustaha. These were also called the Book of Ritual Knowledge. Written on bamboo or bark in a cryptic script, these were primarily … Continue reading

December 27, 2015 · Leave a comment

What’s in a Name!

I did not realise the complexity of our naming system until I came across the extremely simple – and therefore confusing – naming system used for naming children in Bali, … Continue reading

December 27, 2015 · 1 Comment

Javanese Paternal Bonding Ritual

Semarang, Central Java. Dec 15th, 2015.   A culture as old as Java is likely to have highly evolved rituals and traditions. And quite naturally their system of beliefs and … Continue reading

December 20, 2015 · 1 Comment

Motif & Meaning – Dayak Heritage

The title is a misnomer as this note does not offer the meaning of this motif. This note only puts together several lifestyle objects to show that this motif has … Continue reading

December 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

Kris Hilts – Art & Collections

Every now and then in auction houses, I come across a few dozen pieces of some category coming up for sale. It seems like a whole collection is being given … Continue reading

December 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

Motif & Meaning – Caravans & Herders

More textiles, more meaning! Here are some created by a Bishnoi group from Rajasthan India. These motifs that tell us about their lives through their portrayal of the cultural elements … Continue reading

November 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Narakasur again

Driving back to my home in Goa last night, I saw many fully constructed Narakasurs along the way home. Saw many groups of children stopping cars for donations…. But regrettably … Continue reading

November 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

Shared Festivals across the Border

Is it any surprise that India and China have festivals that are somilar in manisfestation?  Compare the Lantern festival to Diwali.     Lanterns for Diwali or the Mid-Autumn Festival?  Compare the … Continue reading

November 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Journey to Assam along a ‘Vrindavani Vastra’

It is said that if you cross the Brahmaputra river once, you will return again to cross it a total of seven times. I’ve done 3 and as I try … Continue reading

October 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Jain Chopat from the National Museum – Cultural Background of the Art

A fantastic post on the Jain Chaupat – explaining the cultural significance of the textile. Click Here to read it. jm Oct 2015

October 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Made for Each Other – A Handsome Turban for a Handsome man

\\ A guest at a Rabari Wedding wearing a handmade turban. jm Sep 2015

September 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Lost in the Maze – A Bhool Bhullaiyya Maze Phulkari Bagh

A rare pattern – the Bhool Bhullaiyya – or Maze. I look forward to finding out why such a pattern came to be – what was the reason to create … Continue reading

August 30, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Ceremonial Costume of Kuba Royalty

Extravagant is the only word to describe the complete costume worn by the King! “The outfit is made out of material stitched with beads and “cauris” (small shells used an … Continue reading

August 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

Rajasthan Tribal Costume

Regular Costume of a woman from Rajasthan belonging to the Garasia tribe – one of the numerous tribes in Rajasthan. Am wondering how many of us can carry off that … Continue reading

July 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Fresh Perspective

A Japanese Perspective…

July 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Postcards from Rajasthan

Postcards (or rather the e-version – Whatsapp Images) from Rajasthan. Sent by the remarkable Narayan Gadhvi, a young man who lives in the desert city of Jaisalmer and was pivotal … Continue reading

June 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Kashmir that We Shall Never See Again

Kashmir: A geography I have not yet been to. A history that none of us can ever go to. A few old photos that bring alive the lifestyle of Old … Continue reading

June 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Palepai Ship Cloths – Threads of Ancestry

Palepais are the most magnificent members of the Sumatran Ship Cloth family. The others – Tampans & Tatibins – are smaller and have fewer restrictions on usage and inheritance. Tampans … Continue reading

June 27, 2015 · 1 Comment

Guest Post – Memories of Swat – Kohistan Valley

Steve Wallace is a Textile Collector living in Australia and has kindly shared his memories of a visit to the Swat Valley three decades ago through this note. Photos are … Continue reading

June 26, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Fiesty San Jao Festival of Goa

Reposting an earlier article about the San Jao Festival held every year on June 24th. Click to View The Fiesty San Jao Festival of Goa jm June 2015

June 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Worth of a Woman ….

“A female slave, skilled in embroidery is worth four oxen” – Homer, 2nd Century BCE We’ve come a long way haven’t we? Or have we? [To be fair, besides female … Continue reading

June 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

External Article: Bound Feet – A Photo Essay

A superb photo essay “The Last Surviving Chinese Women With Bound Feet” WARNING: Graphic images. External Article: Bound Feet – A Photo Essay

June 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Brilliant Guerilla Strategy of the Viet Cong – Cu Ci Tunnels

The general thinking is that it is good to be tall and hefty. But during the Vietnam War, (1954–75), that was a conflict that pitted the Viet Cong, against the … Continue reading

June 22, 2015 · 1 Comment

Some Doors for My Future Tent

Perfect for my future tent! A set of three old tent doors / dividers / perde curtains (most likely converted from grain sacks?) from the homes of Yoruks or nomads … Continue reading

June 22, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Lore of a Kilim Rug | The Lure of a Kilim Rug

One day a Yürük tribal chief saw a kilim rug cast on the ground by a tent. Looking at it brought anguish to his heart, so he called on his … Continue reading

June 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

Longer Stronger Lives

Rug repairers in Turkey blessing the textiles with their skills. Critiques have a lot to say about this controversial topic of textile repair…. But the fact is that repairs arrest … Continue reading

June 20, 2015 · 1 Comment

Games People Play

In Tibet I saw Billiards Being played on tables set up in the open. Old men, young men, teenagers. Altogether. Mixed groups. In Singapore, in the mature estates Chinese Chess … Continue reading

June 18, 2015 · 1 Comment

Woven into the Household – Literally. Central Asian Tent Bands

The fact that fabrics are necessary in our lives is stating the obvious. Textiles are an integrated element in our households. But some are decorated – to the extent that … Continue reading

June 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

Yoga

In the days when we did not have any fancy Yoga classes….we had THIS WIllpower Testing? Mental Prowess? Phyiscal Endurance? Nirvana? jm June 2015 (photos from the net – no … Continue reading

June 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Female Infanticide – Documented in a Sainchi Phulkari?

Looking at an antique Sainchi phulkari – a work of textile art depicting village scenes that includes a scene of female infanticide.

May 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

External Article – The Bon Dongba Hieroglyphic Language of Tibet

An article about the this unique script with Dongba symbols that are an ancient system of pictographic glyphs created by the founder of the Bön religious tradition of Tibet and … Continue reading

May 18, 2015 · 1 Comment

External Article – Exploring the History of Africans in India through Paintings

A superb note exploring paintings and documents that reveal the presence of Africans in India over the centuries: Read it here jm May 2015 External Article – Exploring the History … Continue reading

May 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Music of the Desert

The Setting: An abandoned village in ruins – Kuldhara* in the desert outside Jaisalmer. An old man sits alone guard. Maybe he see the mirage of memories attached to this … Continue reading

May 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Caving in Halong Bay – First Adventure

Well ‘almost’. Caving is the recreational pastime of exploring wild generally non-commercial cave systems. The beautiful Halong Bay in Vietnam with its 2000 towering limestone islands and islets offered me … Continue reading

May 4, 2015 · 4 Comments

Across the Universe – A Bridge to the Other World

Each of us has wondered at some time or another about what happens when we die. Too many questions that have no answers. And then along come the religious bosses … Continue reading

May 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Art of Spirituality

In my childhood I had heard my grandma say that there are four stages in one’s life a. The Stage of Bacherlorhood – a life of study, a life of … Continue reading

April 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

External Article – The Armenians of SIngapore

A wonderful article drawing attention to the fact that Singapore is a melting pot of cultures. Link jm April 2015

April 11, 2015 · Leave a comment

An old book on Bombay Place Names | About Mumbai Meri Jaan

A great online book about Mumbai for all Bombayphiles! Browsing through the book transported me back in to another point in time & place. It reminded me of my days … Continue reading

April 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

Rainbows to B&W

Just one look at the contrast between traditional costumes of tribes that are worn on festivals and their normal day-to-day clothes makes me think that our rainbows are turning Black … Continue reading

April 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

Equal Rights for Men – Wedding Textiles of a Rabari Groom!

Over the years, my friends and I have lamented over the lack of variety in the clothes we bought for our sons. Those of us fortunate to have daughters were … Continue reading

March 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Woman’s Love – Gangaur Festival, Rajasthan

There are a thousand tests of a woman’s love for her man. One is the Gangaur festival – where out of love, a woman fasts for her husband and then … Continue reading

March 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Rich Bow to the Poor – Images of Myanmar

The rich bow to the poor as they donate money to the monks in Myanmar. There is no attitude of arrogance or of self-indulgent generosity. They rich bow to the … Continue reading

March 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

Burning Ghats – May the Soul Rest in Peace

Death – a subject no one likes to talk about even though it is the only certainty and MUST be dealt with. So I will not talk about it here. … Continue reading

March 17, 2015 · Leave a comment

Naga Shells – Nocte Naga Portrait

Portrait of a Nocet Naga girl with traditional costume

March 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Ideology of a Nomadic Life

The general belief is that a nomadic life is a forced choice but on the contrary it is a preferred way of life. Read more…

March 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

Women of the World – Garasia Tribe

Click to see more images of the colorful tribe! jm March 2015

March 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

One more Dream Mansion – Penang

Earlier on a trip to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, I saw a house that I could so easily live in – Patwaon ki Haveli. A house that – in itself is such … Continue reading

February 17, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Glimpse of Purity at Wat Chalong

  This important Buddhist temple in Phuket became far more important when a relic of Gautam Buddha – a bone fragment – was installed in the temple in 2009. On … Continue reading

February 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of Myanmar – Weaving in SOHO

“SOHO” stands for Small Office, Home Office. It is a hybrid apartment for residential and commercial purposes and allows people to work and live in the same house. Although popularised … Continue reading

February 10, 2015 · 1 Comment

Earning Karma at Kyakhatwine Monastery in Bago, Myanmar

This doctrine of Karma, a fundamental pillar of Buddhist ideology, asserts that all individuals are responsible for their past and present actions and conversely what we are today is a … Continue reading

February 5, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Auspicious Lion Dance of Myanmar

An auspicious ritual followed by the Chinese settled all over the world, is to perform the traditional Lion Dance. Danced to the rhythm of large drums, this dance is performed … Continue reading

February 5, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Golden Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon

No words … just photos of a place offering shade to the body & spirit in the heat of Myanmar. The grandeur of the architecture matches the depth of devotion … Continue reading

February 5, 2015 · 2 Comments

Landscapes of Rural Myanmar

Myanmar is known by its fantastic architecture seen in the Golden Pagodas in the various cities. But equally beautiful are the serene landscapes of rural Myanmar. The simple life, the … Continue reading

February 4, 2015 · 2 Comments

Street Culture of Myanmar – a Photo Travelogue

A town’s pulse may be felt in its markets – markets in which the locals shop. Traders big and small, the wares they offer, the way these are displayed, their … Continue reading

February 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

Tears in Taukkyan – War Memorial in Myanmar

IN CONTINUATION OF ANOTHER NOTE – “TEARS IN KOHIMA” Another stark reminder of lives lost in exchange for land – the Taukkyan War Memorial in Mingaladon, Myanmar. No matter how … Continue reading

February 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Luxury on a Cruise Ship – Cakes & Ale

There are many deemed luxuries on cruise ships – the 5-star living, the facilities, the decor and the amazing variety of food, the 5-star service people and so on. But … Continue reading

February 3, 2015 · 1 Comment

A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei

Most are now woven on power looms but a few are still made on back-strap looms.A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei The Puanchei: The Puan is the … Continue reading

January 26, 2015 · 4 Comments

Burning the Old Man

A fantastic memorable quiet New Year’s Eve party with strangers – carrying on the old tradition of burning an old man dummy. Goa, India

January 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Bleak Sunset of Vanishing Cultures

Yesterday as I walked on Carter Road in the mood for contemplation, I witnessed this totally bland sunset. Grey, bleak, unnoticed, unsung and so gradual that visually one would not … Continue reading

November 26, 2014 · 1 Comment

Textile Ethnography – Markers of Migration

The inevitable outcome of passion –  if one can afford it –  is heavy expenditure. I mean expenditure of the most scarce resource i.e. “time”. In my case, much of … Continue reading

November 21, 2014 · 2 Comments

Dressing up for a Ball, 1800s

People think draping a sari is difficult. But hardly as difficult as dressing up for the ball in the 1800s! A link to some images posted on Facebook:       … Continue reading

November 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Satrangi… Seven Colors of …..

Seven is a special prime number! It is the number of easily discernible distinct colors of the rainbow*. It is the number of easily discernible distinct notes of music*. It … Continue reading

November 16, 2014 · 1 Comment

“In the Shadows”

A photograph that is a part of the ‘Journey of the Soul’

November 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

Textiles in Indian Literature

Heartwarming excerpt referring to the making of kantha textiles in Bengali literature

November 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Of Walls & Barriers

Ramblings about walls – both real and psychological sparked off by an old Anatolyan Cicim Tent Divider Textile

November 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Midnight in Paris or Evening in London

A vision of evenings of discussions with genius minds of art, of literature, of science!

November 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Sultry Black Ludhi of the Rabari Tribe

A story that is as deep and bordering on the dark lies hidden within the sultry black veil of the Rabaris of Kutch. Told to me by a village elder, the story is dramatic.

November 8, 2014 · 1 Comment

We and They

A poem by Kipling on ‘diversity’.

November 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

And so I met ….

…..an Armenian! Not so long ago, in 2010, I was in Surat where my ancestors came from. And my uncle, seeing my enthusiasm took me on his Vespa scooter to … Continue reading

October 31, 2014 · 1 Comment

“Sarava Mangalam…” Happy New Year – Vikram Samvat 2071

A Sanskrit Shloka – a perfect prayer for an auspicious new year Vikram Samvat 2071

October 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Narakasura Festival, Goa

[A post from 2010 on the occasion of Diwali & Narakasur] Goa. Narakasur. Pre-Diwali. A unique folk festival that I noticed for the first time in 2004  then became more … Continue reading

October 20, 2014 · 7 Comments

My Dream House …..

A dream house….

October 19, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Bell Temple of Assam

On a highway away from the main cities is a Hindu temple with a peculiarity that makes it stand apart from the millions of other Hindu temples in India. This … Continue reading

October 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

Inside Tamdi Surla Temple – a Monument that escaped Plunder

I played Chor-Police or Police & Thieves for hours every day during my school holidays in my childhood. One team hides and the other team seeks. Too often, as a … Continue reading

October 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

Burning of The Demons

It is Dushera again -a time to burn Ravana. Ravana – a much-loved king in his own land, reputed for his high intellect, worshipped not only in Lanka but also … Continue reading

October 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Traditional Rajasthan Home – Patwaon ki Haveli – Jaisalmer

A place where the walls do not need art. Because the walls ARE art. The ceilings ARE art. Was it such a bad thing that women did not step out … Continue reading

September 13, 2014 · 2 Comments

The Lives of Brahmins

In general there has been a lot of Brahmin-bashing in the media and I myself have had mixed opinions about the subject with a tinge of negativity. In my circles … Continue reading

August 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Govinda Ala Re at Janmashtami – an Indian Miniature Painting

It is Janmashtami again! And to honor Krishna, his love for home-made butter and his theft from the homes of neighboring Gopis, communities in many cities will put up the … Continue reading

August 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Happy Birthday India – Jiye Mera Desh

India celebrates it’s Independence Day today. In the grand scheme of India’s long history, a few centuries under the British rule and then subsequent independence therefrom is not that big … Continue reading

August 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Of Human Bondage – The Chains of Marriage

  Marriage with its Emotional Bondage* that is Voluntary & Reciprocal can be a beautiful experience. In the Hindu tradition, this bondage is poignantly represented by the Gold Chain that … Continue reading

August 12, 2014 · 1 Comment

Life in Japan 1900s

Hand colored photos from Japan 1890 – 1905 seen on Ebay offer a glimpse into a completely different culture that is rarely seen in Japan today!  Geisha Women posing for … Continue reading

August 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Paintings of The Opium Trade – India, 1850s

I would certainly never have known the in-depth history of any region so far removed from my geo-location, were it not for the art that carries within it stories from … Continue reading

August 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Honey Trappers

* WARNING Several Graphic Images* Goa is one of the regions that is blessed with fertile forests. And a result of (or perhaps cause of) this is the large variety … Continue reading

August 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

Artists of the Loom – Traditional Weavers of the world

Creating works of Art with their hands using thread, a loom and a bit of their souls. Many of the images are from WOVENSOULS.com and many are from other websites. … Continue reading

August 1, 2014 · 3 Comments

When there is Respect – A glimpse of Bastar, India

In a land as diverse as India, even the smallest administrative segment – the Taluka or District – is home to a few dozen communities. Therefore, no matter who is … Continue reading

July 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

In Search of Heaven

In every village, in every town in Goa I drive through there’s either a temple or a church/chapel just around the corner. Goa probably has the highest per-capita or per-acre … Continue reading

July 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

When & Where did this festival occur?

Indian Culture is fascinating and even after years of being an Indophile I continue to be delighted by its mystique! The picture below was taken at a festival that I … Continue reading

July 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Lambani Project

The Banjaras  & the Lambanis lived in the forested areas, mainly in South India.They have now been settled in villages through government schemes and no longer follow the nomadic / … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Magnificent Mummies – 1

“There’s more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done” (The Lion King) A visit to the museum opens up a whole new … Continue reading

June 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

Hairstyles of a Mummy – A visit to Ancient Egypt via The British Museum

A captivating visit to ancient Egypt …. viewing over a dozen mummies and ancient Egyptian art all in a single hall of the British Museum, London. If there is only … Continue reading

June 29, 2014 · 1 Comment

Praying for Rain

A self-explanatory photo pre-1900 : An Indian Fakir performing a ritual praying for rain. The context is relevant even today! jm June 2014    

June 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

At the homes of Rabaris

A few pictures taken with majestic Rabari women & men in their own homes, over the years. Attending a Welcome or Swagat at a wedding in the homes of welcoming … Continue reading

June 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

The New Renaissance

The European Renaissance of the 14th – 17th centuries was a rebirth and cultural movement fueled by the invention of print, that profoundly affected intellectual life. The Renaissance of the … Continue reading

May 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

Soul on Fire – The Passion of a Bhopa

PRELUDE Excerpt from an article* I wrote for Jozan Magazine about the Art of the Phad. The shortest way to describe the Phad is ‘a devotional mural storyboard painted on … Continue reading

May 18, 2014 · 3 Comments

MANJUNATH – THE FILM

“MANJUNATH” An outstanding film – an outstanding true story about an outstanding young MBA who joins the corporate world made by another outstanding MBA  – who gave up his corporate … Continue reading

May 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

SEEN ON EBAY : Old Print of Punished Women – Germany / Europe

The Photogravure Print: Undated with some German Text “BESTRAFTE KLATSCH & HANDELSUCHTE DER WEIBER”   jm May 2014  

May 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

SEEN ON EBAY: PORTRAIT of a DEVOTEE who had been standing eight years, day and night!

PORTRAIT of a DEVOTEE who had been standing eight years, day and night. (India) issued Boston: 1851. Fine original antique engraved woodblock view of native figures of India, printed on quality paper … Continue reading

May 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Hand Looms, Foot Looms and more

Many of the textile enthusiasts that I know, enjoy understanding the technicalities that go into the creation of the art. The loom type, the weave type, the knot structure etc … Continue reading

May 3, 2014 · 6 Comments

Vanished Without a Trace – A Clan of 84 Villages

TIME: Around 13th century. PLACE: Rajasthan PARADIGM: Extremely Caste Conscious Social Hierarchy STORY Kuldhara is village outside Jaisalmer.  It was the home of Paliwal Brahmins. Every region, has its unstated … Continue reading

May 2, 2014 · 1 Comment

A Story in a Nose Ring

Four times I have had my nose pierced. In spite of the fact that it is long & hook shaped and has provided all its viewers with immense mirth – … Continue reading

May 1, 2014 · 2 Comments

A LADAKHI LADY DONS HER HEIRLOOM JEWELRY

On the way back from interior Himalayas in September last year, we stopped at a tiny village in Skyurbuchan that had the only restaurant along the way, for a late … Continue reading

April 30, 2014 · 2 Comments

HALI Article on The Magnificent Perak Headdress of Ladakh

A glimpse of my article appearing in Spring 2014 issue of HALI – the world’s leading magazine focusing on Textile Arts:  “Heading off evil at high altitude” on the Perak … Continue reading

April 25, 2014 · 6 Comments

Bombay – Meri Jaan

Photos of a few must-see places that are off the beaten path in Bombay-Mumbai – the liveliest city in the world! 1. Banganga – a stepped well born of a … Continue reading

April 19, 2014 · 1 Comment

Need a Handmade Iron Tool? Go shop with the Gadaliya Lohar Tribe of Rajasthan

Hand made textiles I can understand – but seeing handmade iron tools on sale brought me face-to-face with my ignorance! As I walked through Jaisalmer, I came across 2 families … Continue reading

April 13, 2014 · 1 Comment

Streets of Jaisalmer

One of the best ways to experience a city is to walk through it. And Jaisalmer with its charming architecture, narrow lanes and friendly bystanders is a treat to explore … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · 1 Comment

Welcome to Jaisalmer Homes

Art mixed with daily living, art created within the home, art that cannot be separated from the people or purchased – that art evokes a unique fascination and respect. Indian … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · 1 Comment

TWO WORLDS

Bhil Woman whose lifestyle remains rooted in the past even as her surroundings have moved into the future with the adoption of new technology. Rural Rajasthan, India

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – In search of Shade

Man and beast subject to the elements of nature in equal measure.  The fragility of the human’s sense of empowerment over nature, is accentuated in the extreme testing conditions such … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Hamlets & Herds

A photo-essay on the little hamlets & goat herds seen in Thar Desert region of Rajasthan. The photos cannot capture the emptiness of the space, or the heat, but they … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Where did the desert go?

A desert is not something that one sees often. So when I planned my trip to Rajasthan, I was excited about seeing the Thar desert (pronounced by local as Thudd)  … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 2 Comments

A Temple of Miracles in the Desert – Tanot Mata Mandir

Locals believe that it was the Goddess Tanot Mata that prevented the bombs from exploding in a war a few decades ago. And the Goddess became famous beyond the local … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · 1 Comment

Royal Cradles of Rajasthan

As I walk through the Mehrangarh Fort Museum hall exhibiting royal cradles, I cannot help but think about babies & nurturing & child-raising, about the tenets of parenting and the … Continue reading

April 3, 2014 · 1 Comment

Living with Art – A Home in rural Rajasthan

On a highway outside Jaisalmer, driving at 80kmph, I spot an artistically decorated walled enclave. The driver is instructed to stop. He is first confused about my request to visit … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

The Caste Fortress

Growing up in cosmopolitan Mumbai we lived very closely with neighbors from various communities, sharing our struggles, our celebrations, our resources, our cooking ingredients, our food and sometimes even clothes … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 1 Comment

Holi Again!

It’s the full moon night of Spring. And people are excited about the Dhuleti ir color festival that follows the night of Holi. A few pictures if the Holi Bonfire … Continue reading

March 17, 2014 · 2 Comments

Rural India Beckons!

Wanderlust strikes again! The unparalleled beauty of rural India is beginning to call out to me again…. The simplicity, the warmth, the genuineness, people living as one with the earth, … Continue reading

March 15, 2014 · 1 Comment

External Article: The surprising story of Mongolian shamanism | MIT News

Sharing an interesting article from MIT News: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/the-surprising-story-of-mongolian-shamanism-1216.html jm Feb 2014

February 23, 2014 · 1 Comment

Stunning Old Costume Photos from Tibet

  A delightful find on Facebook – stunning old photos of Tibetan women wearing their extravagant headdresses and accessories! The headdress is used as a tool to attach false hair tied … Continue reading

February 4, 2014 · 2 Comments

Traveling Godmen

An addition to the article on the Traveling Godmen or spiritual healers of rural India. This morning I came across this extravagantly decorated Bullock and the owner, going from door … Continue reading

January 30, 2014 · 1 Comment

Traditional Architecture & Art in the Houses of South India

How can a house that is so simple, serene and peaceful be the cause of the debilitating greed that arises in me when I view it? Every house that I … Continue reading

January 15, 2014 · 9 Comments

Costumes from Mongolia – A Peep into the Past

A discussion on a forum board opened my eyes to the details that form part of the background of paintings. In this particular case, the forum discussed rugs in the … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · 7 Comments

How many Indian Manuscripts exist?

In my readings about ancient Indian texts I came across an interesting article by Wujastyk. The main page  is linked below. A few interesting excerpts: India as a modern nation-state … Continue reading

December 17, 2013 · 3 Comments

And we thought ornaments were only for people? Traditional Animal Adornments

And we thought ornaments and clothing were only for humans? A few vintage & antique examples of traditional adornments for the beloved farm animals. 1. Large Necklaces for a pair … Continue reading

December 12, 2013 · 2 Comments

Vanishing Cultural Knowledge – the Penans of Borneo

This a picture* of a man from the Penan group that now number 10,000 and is probably the last group that lives surviving solely on the produce of hunting & … Continue reading

December 8, 2013 · 1 Comment

Intriguing Balinese Calendars – Palindon & Palelintangan

In a world with so many different cultures with divergent ideologies and beliefs, naturally there are as many ways to mark the passage of time and predict fortunes. I studied … Continue reading

December 6, 2013 · 5 Comments

Okinawa Ryukyu Diaries

A walk through a traditional Ryukyu Village, Okinawa, Japan Grace of a Ryukyu Weaver, Okinawa Dancing to the Drums of Ryukyu Traditional Sugar Mill, Ryukyu Okinawa

November 15, 2013 · Leave a comment

Lifestyle & Beliefs of the Dard Aryan Ethnic Group of Ladakh

“It happens when it happens” Time is not a rare commodity and leisure is a luxury that all enjoy. ‘It happens when it happens’. No hurry. No time crunch. No … Continue reading

November 1, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Magnificent 11th Century Lamayuru Monastery – A photoessay

The Monastery    Student Monks doing their laundry.   And finally an invitation to  lunch of Rajam & Rice with the student monks! Food for the Soul, Food for the … Continue reading

October 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

A Cup of Tea with the Lamaji of Lamayuru Monastery

Imagine a much revered 11th century Gompa (monastery). The drive to Lamayuru takes us through unusual & complex Himalayan landscapes. We arrive tired and saturated with all the beautiful views. … Continue reading

October 29, 2013 · 2 Comments

An Adventure on the mighty Indus River

The road to the Dard village wound along the Indus river. We saw several bridges along the way. And I was also shown a few hand pulled rope carriages that … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

Dances of the Dard Aryan People

The morning after we arrived, the village gathered together to arrange a small celebration. After several cups of butter tea and sweet tea with biscuits everyone helped each other to … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

Costume & Jewelry Culture of the Dard Aryan People, Himalayas

It seems to me that all Himalayan cultures have spectacular costumes! One that stands out as distinct and unique is the Dard ethnic group in NorthWest India. Spread over a … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

Living with a Dard Family

Sitting in a train in the city or a plane I often see people whose faces or expressions or language intrigue me. And I wonder what their lives must be … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 3 Comments

Aryan Diaries

My  first trip to Ladakh in 2011 was an extravagant visual feast of culture.  As a first-time viewer I was dazzled and overwhelmed so much that I could barely differentiate … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 4 Comments

Forthcoming Articles….

A poem*  said  ‘Time forever in debt of Plans’…. This is a phase of my life when I am complaining that about the shortage of time. Usually I complain that … Continue reading

October 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

Small Town Magic – In Mega Mumbai

A few charming scenes from Mumbai that  are also charming and contain the warmth of small town life. The difference between awe and disgust is simply our own attitude. jm … Continue reading

September 24, 2013 · 4 Comments

Small Town magic – The Best Street Food

  I am not usually prone to making comments about ‘best’ since it is realistically not possible to test it all before making such a declaration that would be true. … Continue reading

September 24, 2013 · 1 Comment

Small Town Magic – Travelling Bakery

Who could have imagined the charm that lies in the small towns of India? A travelling bakery in a busy market.    jm Aug 2013

September 20, 2013 · 1 Comment

Small Town Magic – Cycle Rickshaws

Another mini photo-essay: This man who wheeled me around _ I wonder what his life has been like. Was it easy? Was he treated well by the people he served? … Continue reading

September 18, 2013 · 1 Comment

Small Town Magic

Be prepared to be completely delighted by the unexpected in the small towns of India. A few shots of fun walks in the bazaar that can provide endless entertainment IF … Continue reading

September 17, 2013 · 1 Comment

A walk through the Panaji Fish Market

Posting a mini photo essay while I travel: jm Aug 2013

September 16, 2013 · 2 Comments

Gypsy Nomad Herder Women of Rajasthan

The job of herding is done by women in many of the tribes in Rajasthan. Where are the men? jm Aug 2013

September 13, 2013 · 1 Comment

I wish I could do that

Things I wish I could do…. A simple bucket list     All photos have been taken by me on various trips in the past 3 years. These and more … Continue reading

September 11, 2013 · 2 Comments

Animals in our Lives

A few photos from my older travel albums: View more images in full size in the Cultural Image Library on WOVENSOULS.COM jm

September 7, 2013 · 3 Comments

Forts in the Konkan Coast, India

A few photos of Konkan Forts: View all the images (in full size) on the parent website WOVENSOULS.COM jm Aug 2013

September 6, 2013 · 1 Comment

Women of Substance

Featured in the news 2 days ago was a woman who was 50+ years old yet looked 20+. I did not feel a tinge of envy for her. It appears … Continue reading

August 28, 2013 · 1 Comment

Navratri – the Festival of Garba and Raas Dance

With the Full Moon night of this lunar month, the season of festivals begins in India. The festival phase of the year coincide with the lean activity phases in farming … Continue reading

August 20, 2013 · 2 Comments

Dancing to the Drums of Ryukyu

The folk dance of the historical Ryukyu kingdom, traditionally performed before the King & Queen, reenacted on a smaller scale. Many photos have been included of the various steps hoping … Continue reading

August 14, 2013 · 5 Comments

A walk through a traditional Ryukyu Village, Okinawa, Japan

Ryukyu Kingdom – Wikipedia says it existed between the 15th & 19th century. A walk through a village in Okinawa that has been reconstructed by transporting century old houses from … Continue reading

August 13, 2013 · 3 Comments

A view from a Skyscraper

A word that was probably coined sometime in the past 100 years by the people down below who saw the building to be scraping the sky. But from the top … Continue reading

August 12, 2013 · 3 Comments

Traditional Sugar Mill, Ryukyu Okinawa

A short photo essay of the traditional sugar extraction process from sugar cane using a bullock driven crushing mechanism. The low yield of this process surprised me. I wondered why … Continue reading

August 11, 2013 · 2 Comments

Grace of a Ryukyu Weaver, Okinawa

Another shore excursion, another learning experience. A lesson in grace, a lesson in technique from the legacy of the Ryukyu Kingdom,  Okinawa, Japan The Weaving Process: jm Aug 2013  

August 10, 2013 · 2 Comments

Majulah Singapura – National Day Parade 2013

Happy Birthday Singapore. Born in the year of the Snake, Singapore completes 48 years today in the presence of the visionary founder Lee Kuan Yew. A few pictures taken while … Continue reading

August 10, 2013 · 2 Comments

Antique Prayer Rugs

On the occasion of Ramzan Id, a day on which I have enjoyed Biryani and Sewaiyan from the homes of my neighbours and friends growing up in Mumbai – a … Continue reading

August 9, 2013 · 5 Comments

The Hungry Ghost and Shraadh Rituals

Today is the first day after the NO-MOON night. For the many religions that mark their lives with the moon’s revolutions this date marks the first day of a new … Continue reading

August 9, 2013 · 2 Comments

Behind Bars – Imprisoning the Mind

A life of austerity, a life of self-imposed restrictions. Leading to a life of contentment. Of enlightenment. Of peace. jm Aug 2013

August 8, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Arresting Architecture of Chi Lin Nunnery, Kowloon

The photos below suffice to show the serenity reflecting the stillness and peace of mind of its inhabitants. The art in its architecture is complemented by the craft and the … Continue reading

August 7, 2013 · 4 Comments

Honey from a Honeycomb at breakfast

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Ultra Urban. Offering an ultra-rural item in their brunch menu: Honey drip direct from a honeycomb! Fascinating! jm aug 2013

August 5, 2013 · 1 Comment

Praying in a Hong Kong Temple

A shore excursion took me to this famous Buddhist Temple in Hong Kong. Since I live in Singapore, my attitude was one of  ‘been-there-done-that’. The building the architecture, the nestling … Continue reading

August 5, 2013 · 3 Comments

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City

A few interesting cultural shots of traditional life  from the otherwise modern Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam Will post a video of my cycle rickshaw weaving through the heavy traffic … Continue reading

August 4, 2013 · 7 Comments

Into the Hearts and Homes of the Dard people of Ladakh

The Dard people of Ladakh are a minority group.  Their lifstyle is very different from the other groups in Ladakh yet this difference is  highly respected in the very inclusive … Continue reading

August 3, 2013 · 12 Comments

Prehistoric Rock Carvings – Mizoram

A few photos of pre-historic rocks seen in Fawlkun village in Mizoram. This village is literally in the middle of nowhere – the nearest town Aizawl is about 18 km … Continue reading

August 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

Pearl in an Oyster

A few photos of extracting pearls. The process was simple. Wedge in the butter knife, use it as a lever to pry the oyster open and behold the pearl! Just … Continue reading

July 30, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Dowry

This is a much maligned concept in the context of India. It need not be. A few facts:  A large part of India has a bride price – where the … Continue reading

July 28, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Amazing Women Divers of Jeju

When I speak about the mermaids divers to Korea to people, everyone seems to know about these amazing women already. But the first time I heard of them was on … Continue reading

July 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

Snake Wine in Okinawa

A port stop and a shore excursion turn out to be a lesson in wine culture! A few phone photos of Okinawa  street culture first :       There’s … Continue reading

July 27, 2013 · 9 Comments

Akha Hilltribe Costume Art

The fragility of the Akha hilltribe culture is most poignantly presented in a book ‘Peoples of the Golden Triangle’. Ironically, the two people who wrote this book were missionaries in … Continue reading

July 17, 2013 · 1 Comment

Goan Fisherman’s tale – traditional wisdom, traditional fishing

While one half of the world chases efficiency and big money, Goa continues to chase the perfect life. Afternoon siestas are still not traded for earnings. I have been turned … Continue reading

July 16, 2013 · 8 Comments

Choodi Waale Baaba – the Bangle Seller

Hindi was a compulsory language to be learned at school. And language is usually taught through written material – stories about this and that from every day life. Sometime in … Continue reading

June 28, 2013 · 2 Comments

Interesting nuggets about Odisha

A series of random interesting nuggets from Odisha: 1. A temple that does not allow non Hindus and foreigners in. So a viewing post has been built outside the compound … Continue reading

June 26, 2013 · 2 Comments

Infinity of the Ocean

Through the Wovensouls gallery, I once connected with a young girl from Iceland.  A country that I had never thought of before the time I met her. She had bought … Continue reading

June 19, 2013 · 1 Comment

Tribal Life in Orissa – a tribute!

  I was in Orissa in January and the month of May is about to end, and yet the tribal life that I experienced there remains unshared on this blog. … Continue reading

May 27, 2013 · 4 Comments

A walk through the market in Bhubaneshwar

For over a decade I have been exposed to the concept of auctions. I have bought and sold several dozen things at online auctions and have enjoyed he thrill of … Continue reading

May 26, 2013 · 4 Comments

An outrageous sacrilege about to happen…

Lord Macaulay is said to have authored these words about the conquest of India in the 1800s: “Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people … Continue reading

May 13, 2013 · Leave a comment

Journey to the Past : The science of Epigraphy

Imagine walking through a maze with instructions written in a language we do not understand. In reconstructing the history of a civilisation, we work with very few clues – artefacts, … Continue reading

April 7, 2013 · 2 Comments

In the Presence of the Past – Ancient Caves of Odisha

Just outside Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India monks carved out a cave complex from the stone mountain and made it their home. Today, I am here, in the same point in space … Continue reading

March 26, 2013 · 4 Comments

Return to Ladakh

There is a ‘magnetic’ mountain on the road between Leh and Alchi. The magnetism is strong enough to pull parked cars upwards. It is probably this magnetism that took me … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Stylish Priests at Jagannath Temple

Who said that men’s fashion has to be bland and boring? Jagannath temple in Puri is one of the 4 important pilgrimage spots for any Hindu.  The temple is old … Continue reading

February 17, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Ladies Compartment in Mumbai Local Trains

VENUE : The Ladies Compartment LOCATION : The local trains of Mumbai EVENT : 1. Shopping Gala 2. Bonding Gala COST : INR 40 / all day travel TIME : … Continue reading

February 7, 2013 · 7 Comments

Kalinga Diaries

Kalinga. Now called Odisha (Orissa). The poorest state in India financially. Yet, among the richest states culturally. Every Indian has heard of Orissa through its arts – either the dance, … Continue reading

January 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

18th / 19th Century Yao Painted scrolls, North Vietnam

Art. A subject that seems enticing, mysterious as well as ambiguous. An area where it is hard to be sure of oneself especially with respect to valuation. When I look … Continue reading

January 18, 2013 · 2 Comments

Photographs of the Tribal Expressions Exhibition, Singapore

Photos of an absolutely amazing experience!  Visitors reacted beyond expectation to the people in the photos, to the photos, to the expressions of human emotion, to the expressions of tribal … Continue reading

December 3, 2012 · 3 Comments

Upcoming Talk @ The Esplanade, Singapore

Sunday November 25th, 2012 Library @ The Esplanade, Singapore Details of the talk ‘Tribal Textiles – Signatures of Identity’ may be viewed on the Esplanade website linked here jm Nov … Continue reading

November 7, 2012 · Leave a comment

Upcoming Solo Photography Exhibitions : Singapore & Montreal

You are invited to “TRIBAL EXPRESSIONS” an exhibition of tribal portraits (photograph prints) in Singapore & in Montreal * SINGAPORE – NOVEMBER 2012 “THE ARTS HOUSE” The Old Parliament House,  … Continue reading

October 5, 2012 · Leave a comment

Camels go on a Pilgrimage with their Tribal Masters to pray

I am in Kutch. One of the districts of Gujarat. Which is one of the 28 states of India. This little portion tucked away in a corner of India bordering … Continue reading

October 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Meeting Lambani Textile Artists

Awhile ago, while doing research for an art installation project, I met these textile artists who work for themselves – who create their gorgeous art mainly for self-consumption and not … Continue reading

September 10, 2012 · 1 Comment

Pink Balloons – the Gay Village of Montreal

Every individual is a combination of his preferences – of food, of interests, of music, of art, of worship, of fashion, of style, of profession and other aspects Sexuality is … Continue reading

August 28, 2012

Epic Photographer – Edward Curtis, an extraordinary life

Every time I click images of vanishing tribes the motivating idea that drives me is that in a small way I am capturing history as it passes. There is a … Continue reading

August 28, 2012

Mumbai says Happy Birthday Krishna 2012!

Mumbai celebrates Krishna’s birthday with a dramatic ritual sport : making human pyramids to reach and break a pot of milk that is suspended high between two buildings. Krishna stole … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · Leave a comment

Kutch Diaries

Travelogues from Kutch from various travels : A cup of tea with nomads and gypsies of the Kutch (2006) Tribal Textile Art of Kutch – the Bhuj Folk Art Museum … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · 4 Comments

A walk through a Rabari tribal Village

Rabari people are gypsies having their deep ancestry origins in Mount Kailash. They migrated to the Kutch via Afghanistan & Kashmir. Just a video taken as I walk about a … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · 2 Comments

A Rabari Gypsy Tribal Wedding Ritual

‘Luck by Chaanus’* was on our side Mr. V.bhai – my self appointed guide for the day – declared observing that we had just witnessed two pre-wedding rituals an hour … Continue reading

August 10, 2012 · 9 Comments

Alternate Life Models 5 – Mizo culture

Most Eastern life models are patrilineal and the father-son lineage carries forward important life markers such as caste, name, inheritance etc. The rules are clear and common across geographies. But … Continue reading

June 24, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Classic Indian Village Fair – Gogunda mela

Not a single tourist present besides me. No Indian tourist. No foreign tourist.No men tourists. No women tourists. ONLY locals. ONLY villagers. And me. This is simply not a place … Continue reading

June 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

Gangaur Festival

A festival of devotion and of celebration of love. Shiva and Parvati are the epitome of love in Hindu mythology and this is one of the stories about their love. … Continue reading

June 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

A Cultural Stay at Kuching

A quaint little backpackers hostel set in an old shophouse along the waterfront decorated with Straits furniture provides the perfect cultural experience in Kuching This is been the most culturally … Continue reading

June 14, 2012

Longhouses in Borneo

A walk through a longhouse in the jungles of Sarawak, Borneo. A short video taken on an iphone jm June 2012

June 14, 2012 · Leave a comment

Puppets & Puppeteers of Nagaur Rajasthan

An old folk saying “We are only puppets, our strings are being pulled by unknown forces” This is an article about puppets – from a place that is famous for … Continue reading

June 11, 2012 · 2 Comments

The Batak Calendar from Sumatra, Indonesia

Everyone reading this would know that it is the year 2012. And everyone would also know that the world did not begin 2012 years ago – so what does this … Continue reading

June 5, 2012 · 8 Comments

A Python for Dinner

Note: Please note that this article contains images of raw meat. If this is offensive to you do not read further. “Mom what’s for dinner” “Stir Fried Python” This would … Continue reading

May 28, 2012 · Leave a comment

Sarawak Diaries

The number of hours spent in an airplane seems to be directly proportional to the “Exotica  Quotient” of a destination. This is false of course and although I knew that, … Continue reading

May 28, 2012 · Leave a comment

A Dog’s Sixth Sense – a spooky experience

My Grandma told me folk tales that aroused my curiosity. Tales that were so mystical and interesting that they opened up a whole world of the un-understood realm – enticing … Continue reading

May 21, 2012 · Leave a comment

Loss of Cultural Diversity – 1

An article from BBC news “The decline of linguistic and cultural diversity is linked to the loss of biodiversity, a study has suggested” Read more here. jm May 2012

May 13, 2012

Women of India – the Weaker sex….

Presenting a view of the woman seen as the classical “abalaa naari” or the helpless woman of Indian society. The tribal Indian woman. An epitome of freedom and strength! She … Continue reading

April 26, 2012

Music of the Manganiyar Tribe

The Manganiyars are famous through their shows worldwide titled the Manganiyar Seduction. Presented by international performance companies their music has received a platform it deserves. Awards and acclaim have followed … Continue reading

April 25, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Blacksmith Gadaliya Tribe of Rajasthan & Gujarat

One of the many tribes I met in Rajasthan – the Gadaliyas – the Blacksmiths. I have posted some images and an informed article by another blogger on nomadic tribe … Continue reading

April 24, 2012 · 2 Comments

Mewar Diaries

Rajasthan needs no introduction. Colors flood my senses from the moment I drive into the city of Udaipur from the airport late in the evening. After stopping to pick up … Continue reading

April 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

Eating Balut

Balut is an egg. Actually it’s a chicken. No – it’s both. A chicken inside the egg. A chicken that isn’t yet ready to hatch. An egg that has matured … Continue reading

April 20, 2012 · 1 Comment

Bnei Menashe -The Lost Tribe of Israel in Mizoram

My pre-travel research  told me that this is one group I must seek out and meet in Aizawl. All through the trip, in Aizawl, In Lunglei, in Thenzawl and in … Continue reading

March 18, 2012 · 2 Comments

The Chapchar Kut Harvest Festival of Mizoram

A glimpse of the Chapchar Kut Harvest festival held at Aizawl in March 2012. The Chapchar Kut is the Harvest festival of Mizoram and celebrated across the hills in March … Continue reading

March 17, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Holi Festival – Present & Past

Jari Mari Mata Temple on S.V. Road, Bandra. The venue for the Holi bonfire on the night of the Spring Full Moon. Past Holi bonfires at this location are a … Continue reading

March 9, 2012

Mizoram Diaries

Mizoram. A landscape of blue mountains. Rising above white clouds and mist. Green. Pristine. Located in the North East of India. With a population of 10,00,000. Spread over half a … Continue reading

March 4, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Siddi Tribe of Gujarat India of African origin

In 2009 December I watched  a folk dance festival in Goa. Again, as the rest of my life has been, it was just by chance that I strolled in to … Continue reading

March 2, 2012 · 2 Comments

The Komusa Wandering Monks & their Shakuhachi flutes

Arm Chair Travel  The Distance between point A and point B may be reduced by either one of them moving to the other. Since it is not possible to move … Continue reading

February 24, 2012

My Talk @ Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

On Thursday, Feb 16th, I presented a talk on the magnificent Blue Veil to museum Docents, textile enthusiasts and museum enthusiasts at the Ngee Ann Auditorium at ACM in Singapore. … Continue reading

February 14, 2012 · Leave a comment

Intense Spirituality – the Thaipusam Festival

They say spirituality awakens at a particular moment – and that moment is necessarily different for each person. I do not think I have reached my moment yet. But I … Continue reading

February 7, 2012 · 2 Comments

The Threads of Khmer History – a ‘Warped’ look at the Temples of Angkor

History of textile art & adornments from Angkor Wat

February 4, 2012 · Leave a comment

Arunachal Pradesh Diaries

Nested in the Himalayan foothills, almost untouched by my world that is desperately seeking answers to its energy crisis, its financial crisis fuelled by ‘more & more’ & ‘growth’, and … Continue reading

January 18, 2012 · 1 Comment

Fierce Nocte Headhunters

Portrait-collage of the Nocte Tribe, Khonsa, Arunachal Pradesh, a friendly happy yet fierce tribe with headhunting ancestry. Hi res images available on www.jainamishra.com My other related articles Headhunting Tropies Back … Continue reading

January 18, 2012 · 1 Comment

The Gaanv Boodhas or Village Headmen of Arunachal Pradesh

Am stating the obvious – that every journey results in not only a fresh view of old things, but also views of things never seen before by the beholder. Having … Continue reading

January 16, 2012

Glimpses of a contented People – the Arunachalis

Images of interesting elements of Arunachali lifestyle have been put together as a general kaleidoscope. For separate articles on the specific topics, click on the links below: Hunter-Gatherer-Weavers  Innovative housing … Continue reading

January 15, 2012

A chance encounter with a Shaman Priest during a sacrifice ritual

Rural Arunachal Pradesh, Dec 2011 This was an encounter that took me by surprise and swept me off my feet! When I think back, it is difficult to imagine the … Continue reading

January 7, 2012 · 4 Comments

The Arunachali – the Hunter-Gatherer-Weaver

Tiny hamlets dot the Himalayan foothills of Arunachal Pradesh. Some lie along the winding roads while a large number are accessible only by foot paths taking as long as 3-5 … Continue reading

January 5, 2012

Tribal Signatures – Face Tattoos of the Apatani tribe

The lifestyle of Apatani hilltribe of Arunachal Pradesh fascinates a cultural traveller on several aspects. But the one that hit me with the greatest intensity are the 2 tribal signatures … Continue reading

January 4, 2012

Arunachal Hilltribe Lifestyle 2 : Innovative housing

Arunachal Pradesh landscapes comprise the foothills of the Himalayas and is inhabited mainly by tribes.The hills are dotted with tribal villages all across its 85000 sq km expanse. Hills and … Continue reading

December 16, 2011 · Leave a comment

Head Hunting Trophies

The British had banned head hunting during the days of the Raj and ordered that all trophies – such as skulls of enemy tribes – be destroyed. Most tribes complied. … Continue reading

December 11, 2011 · 4 Comments

Ram Leela at Dassera in Mumbai

The Ramayan is a well known epic about the triumph of good over evil. But the Ram Leela – the enactment of the Ramayana is a lesser known event. In … Continue reading

November 16, 2011 · 2 Comments

Kabutar Baazi – Pigeon Gaming – a folk sport

Folk Sports are home grown sports that remain localised and have no equivalent in other regions. In a country as diverse as India – the bamboo climbing sport of Nagaland, … Continue reading

November 16, 2011

Ladakh Diaries

“LADAKH – THE HERMIT KINGDOM”  PROVIDES AN INTRODUCTION TO LADAKH AND IS A PREFACE TO A SERIES OF SUBJECT SPECIFIC ARTICLES ON LADAKH. In the olden days, in the Hindu … Continue reading

November 11, 2011 · 1 Comment

Costumes of Ladakh – the Hidden Kingdom

This article was written for publication on Jozan.net. and can be found here jaina mishra November 2011

November 11, 2011

Traditional Sports of Ladakh – Archery

The word ‘sports’ evokes visions of young fit people. It evokes images of competitive spirits. But in most folk sports that I have watched in places that remain pure and … Continue reading

October 24, 2011

Mountain Adventures 18000ft above sea level – a landslide at the Khardungla Pass!

This was, without a doubt, the most difficult journey I have ever made. I have travelled to Everest Base camp, have travelled squeezed into the boot of a car on … Continue reading

October 24, 2011 · Leave a comment

Bactrian Camels of the Central Asian Silk Route – Ladakh

Diskit village, Nubra valley. Ladakh. Wedged between two ranges of the Himalayas. Sand dunes. River beds. Mountains with badly scratched faces. Mountains with a topology that mesmerised. Rock formations that … Continue reading

October 23, 2011

The Chamms Masked Dances by the Monks of Chemrey Monastery – Ladakh

Lamas of the ancient Chemrey monastery performing the Masked dances in Leh in which they enact religious tales with a moral. The stunning colors of the flowing robes combined with … Continue reading

October 23, 2011 · Leave a comment

Traditional Sports of Ladakh – Polo

Where else would we find a monastery, a chorten, mountain peaks AND polo players in the same shot??!!! The cheerleading squad – traditional drummers The teams A flying horse? A … Continue reading

October 4, 2011

Mastering the Mind and Body – Monk Warriors of Xiaolin (Shaolin) – a photoessay

Xiaolin or Shaolin. China. Popularised in the film “36 Chambers of Shaolin” (1978) When I woke up yesterday, I had no idea that the day would hold unforgettable encounters with … Continue reading

September 23, 2011

A night-out with the Nomads of Changthang

Dreamt of spending time with nomads for a long time. To experience their minimalistic lives,  to observe the mental strength with which they embraced the harshness of nature, to learn … Continue reading

September 15, 2011 · 6 Comments

Dreams I dreamt and realised – Ladakh

Each of us is born with a curse – a predominant sentiment that rears its head at almost every occasion. My curse is ‘disbelief’. Every day something good happens that … Continue reading

August 30, 2011