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

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 · 1 Comment

A Charkha Spinning Wheel

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

February 3, 2019 · Leave a comment

Preview …. Conversations on the Soul of Punjab

Am on a visit to Punjab to  understand my beloved Phulkari Textiles better! Here is the map of the locations in which I have been speaking to the grand old … Continue reading

February 1, 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 · Leave a comment

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

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