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

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

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

Just another day in India

  And while real rural India wears gorgeous clothes as daily wear, in urban India I am wearing blue jeans… Sigh! jm December 2018  

December 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Service or Sacrilege? The Dilemma of Textile Art Fragments

Have you seen these? Amazing creativity isn’t it?!! ❤️ The ones that I have are in good but not in perfect condition – usage, withering natural life of the fibre … Continue reading

October 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day 

Amazing Ethnic Art worn by a very small minority group in Guizhou China.  Asset 228 on WOVENSOULS.COM Enjoy the Visual Feast!  

June 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

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

Wearing Art – Antique Himalayan Ceremonial Silver Belt

When everything the eye sees is artistic and pleasing, where art is an intrinsic part of every object, there must be undercurrents of joy constantly hitting the people…  Maybe THAT … Continue reading

May 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Bridal Sari of the erstwhile Queen of Sawantwadi 1922

I’ve seen a dozen or so amazing  antique zari  saris but none has been as unusual as this one seen in the museum of Sawantwadi, This shalu – a zari … Continue reading

December 27, 2017 · 6 Comments

Art of Africa

Of course Africa is too large to be clubbed into one art group … But that made a nice title … The Art of the Yoruba caught my eye recently. … Continue reading

October 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

Hidden Gems – new sightings in old acquisitions! 

In an embroidery rich in texture and motifs and age, it was easy to miss the 5th color used sparingly – it hid within the flowers – almost shy of … Continue reading

September 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Who doesn’t enjoy Music in the Park! 

MUSIC IN THE PARK – Notes in Silk!!! Just received this beauty made in Canton a century ago! Am yet to count the number of instruments being played  in this … Continue reading

September 12, 2017 · 2 Comments

Courtship in Silk

Daily Art Fix – motif on an amazing wearable antique cantonese shawl!  ❤️

September 10, 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

Himalayan Art, Style and Fashion

A look at the ornate headdress of the Himalayan Aryan People

April 10, 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

The Way We Were – II

Photos of an exhibition of photos from negatives in the archives of Souza & Paul – the oldest photo studio in Goa, presented at the fabulous Serendipoty Arts Festival 2016. … Continue reading

December 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

Textiles in the Chaurapanchsika Love Poem of the 16th Century

Chaurapanchasika is a love-lament poem from the 16th century (some say earlier). [Chaurapanchasika is a set of 50 verses written by a Kashmiri Pandit Bilhana in the 11th century. It … Continue reading

November 15, 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

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

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

INVITATION – Antique Indian Textile Art @ The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

BAZAR: SAT & SUN 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th November 4pm-8pm A mini-exhibition will showcase some textile masterpieces from the past. Some pieces from the wovensouls collection will also be available … Continue reading

November 16, 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

Dowry Bags & Purses

A link to the Dowry Bags & Purses of Gujarat, India. jm July 2015

July 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

DAILY ART FIX – AN ARTWORK A DAY

An addict constantly needs a fix to keep him stable. Me – in moments of extreme stress I find solace & peace in viewing works of traditional art. In normal … Continue reading

July 7, 2015 · 3 Comments

Where the Head is Held High …| Naga Headdress

The Naga people are  proud of their heritage. With a hat and fashion sense like theirs, I would be too. It must be so easy to live Tagore’s words there: … Continue reading

April 8, 2015 · 1 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

Triangles of Passion – A Special Textile

A Bagh textile with a thousand triangles – created with love and passion

March 30, 2015 · Leave a comment

Naga Shells – Nocte Naga Portrait

Portrait of a Nocet Naga girl with traditional costume

March 15, 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

Anarchy & Chaos in a Tribal Textile!

Most traditional textiles seem to follow the patterns that are unique to their tribe. These patterns probably began with some seed of an idea and then evolved over generations to … Continue reading

February 27, 2015 · Leave a comment

Loin Cloths – Art in Frugality

It appears to me from media, from the TV shows, films and music, especially those from Hollywood & Bollywood, that the world today is obsessed and preoccupied with matters of … Continue reading

November 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Auctions of Interest

Some beautiful pieces that caught my eye in the upcoming auctions: 1.Miniature Painting, Rajasthan | Treasures of Asia | Auctionata | Sept 4th, 2014 2. India, photographs – Indian textiles … Continue reading

August 20, 2014 · Leave a 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

Textiles within Textiles

Am studying my Phad (Par) textiles and enjoying the complex scenes painted in. There are two types of Phads: one narrating the legend of Pabuji and the other narrating the … Continue reading

May 24, 2014 · Leave a 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

The day I almost missed a Flight – Textiles of the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

In the late 80s I had heard about the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad and the things I heard evoked a desire to visit. Life came in the way between … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 4 Comments

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Vintage Akha Headdress

This headdress is a signature element of the costume of one of the Akha subtribes living in Northern Thailand. Available for acquisition. ‘Vanishing Cultures’ An exhibition of photography & antique … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a 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

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

ANTIQUE NINGYO DOLLS

ANTIQUE JAPANESE NINGYO DOLLS Note the detail in the costumes and the detail on the faces. The two dots on the woman’s forehead are intriguing! jm Nov 2013

November 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

INTRICATE WOVEN ART OF BHUTAN

ANTIQUE BHUTAN KERA TEXTILE ART ANTIQUE KERA VINTAGE KERA (OR KIRA)     jm Oct 2013

November 4, 2013 · 2 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

Turquoise Art – The Blue Veil of Ladakh

An unusual Museum Quality Perak headdress from the Purang / Burang region. Authentic heirloom peraks are extreme,y rare now and among Peraks Purang Peraks are the rarest to find. The … Continue reading

September 23, 2013 · 2 Comments

Handsome Turbans of Western India

A few photos from my old travel albums   The complete album with full size images may be viewed at WOVENSOULS.COM jm Aug 2013

September 9, 2013 · Leave a 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

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

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

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

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

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

Additions to the Wovensouls Antique Textile Gallery – Tribal Bags

A few tribal bags that were acquired on my travels….. Some are  bags originally used by tribals. Others are made using antique or vintage tribal textiles. All gorgeous. All very … Continue reading

September 21, 2012 · 1 Comment

Quill Art of the First People

  A short slideshow on the Quill Art of the first people of North America. But first some interesting facts about quillwork : Quillwork, the oldest form of embroidery of … Continue reading

September 11, 2012 · 2 Comments

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

Costumes of the First People – a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum

Feel like watching a fashion show? Visit the Royal Ontario Museum and view their rexhibits on the costumes of the First People. These works of textile art are housed at … Continue reading

September 2, 2012 · 2 Comments

Textile Art of South East Asia at the Asian Civilsations Museum

An album from a forgotten visit in 2007 to the Asian Civilisations Museum …. taken with a camera I do not even remember. A photography experience that probably made me … Continue reading

July 7, 2012 · Leave a comment

Tribal Textile Art of Kutch – the Bhuj Folk Art Museum

A self explanatory photo-essay showcasing the mirrorwork & embroidery of various tribes in the Kutch region of Gujarat India. But first an introduction to the two lovely ladies from the … Continue reading

July 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of Mizoram, The Lunglei Museum Collection

A walk through the textile & jewelry section of the Museum of Lunglei, the remotest town in the North Eastern state of Mizoram, India. Details of these pieces are available … Continue reading

June 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Turban Art – the Crowning Glory of Indian Men

Turbans serve many uses for Indian men. They provide relief from the sun and a touch of color to the simple male costume. The loose ends are used as handkerchiefs, … Continue reading

June 26, 2012 · 1 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

Curious Dayak Tribal Objects

I had never articulated the thought in my head until Kuching but had always known this even during my days of scrounging through Chor Bazaar in Bombay and flea markets … Continue reading

June 14, 2012

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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 · 3 Comments

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

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

An Appeal for “The Blue Veil Project”

  The magnificent head dress of Ladakh – the Perak laden with rows and rows of turquoise gem stones and coral, is probably among the most exquisite bridal ornaments in … Continue reading

October 1, 2011 · 2 Comments

Exquisite Vintage Kebayas – the costume of the Peranakan culture

Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya and Straits Chinese are terms used for descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region of British controlled Malaya and the Dutch controlled Java among … Continue reading

April 21, 2011

Procession at the Enchey Monastery, Sikkim

The head Lama at Enchey, a quiet handsome and dignified gentleman who rarely speaks to visitors, honored me with a detailed conversation about his life* and about the monastery. He … Continue reading

March 4, 2011 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of the Ahom Kingdom – Guwahati Museum Collection

The Ahoms are a community found largely in Assam. This community consists of the descendants of ethnic Tai people who accompanied the Tai prince Sukaphaa who established the Ahom kingdom … Continue reading

February 17, 2011 · 2 Comments

Tribal Textile and Bead Art of Nagaland

This photoessay is preceded by the article that appears on Jozan.net titled “Red, White and Black – Tribal Textiles of Nagaland” available here. Images will say it better than words … Continue reading

December 27, 2010 · 3 Comments

Nagaland Diaries

An image from 1870s Nov 29th, 2010 Am setting out to explore Nagaland – home to over 20 distinct tribes characterised by two intriguing lifetsyles: headhunting and minimal clothing. This … Continue reading

December 26, 2010 · 1 Comment

Tribal Dances of Nagaland

Every tribe has unique ways of celebrating festivals – some that are common to all Nagamese, others that are unique to each tribe. A collection of images of various tribal … Continue reading

December 26, 2010

Sumazau Folk Dance of Sabah, Borneo

This is a mini photo-essay on the folk dance of Sabah, Borneo, easily one of the most graceful and fluid dances in Asia. Outstretched hands and palms moving up and … Continue reading

November 22, 2010 · Leave a comment

The Dragon Dance

A set of photos on the dragon dance. The dragon chasing the pearl shows that the dragon is continually in the pursuit of wisdom. Every unique formation has a name … Continue reading

September 10, 2010 · Leave a comment

Ajrakh Block Print Art

This is a photoessay on the art of block printing called ‘Ajrakh’. The process described here, is the same for any block print art. The speciality of Ajrakh is that … Continue reading

August 24, 2010 · 10 Comments

Textile Symbolism – 1 : Hilltribes of Northern Thailand

(Excerpt from my article on Jozan.net) Textiles, costumes & dress codes have played an integral role as announcers of significant life events, in some cultures more than in others. As … Continue reading

August 21, 2010 · 3 Comments

Hmong Batik Art

The Hmong are one of the hilltribes living in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. One of signatures of this group is their Batik Art used in their garments. The following photos … Continue reading

August 21, 2010 · 3 Comments

The Lambani Gypsy Tribe

It is my good fortune to have spent a lot of time with the members of this tribe, and to have the opportunity to  explore their memes or their psychological … Continue reading

July 21, 2010 · Leave a comment

Lifestyle of Hilltribes of Northern Thailand

Following is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Jozan.net. ‘Textiles, costumes & dress codes have played an integral role as announcers of significant life events, in some cultures … Continue reading

July 11, 2010 · 2 Comments

Travelling Godmen – the Spiritual Healers of India

Travelling Godmen are wanderers that travel from village to village, restricting themselves to a particular geographical area (usually dictated by the language). They sell spirituality and its benefits in different … Continue reading

July 10, 2010 · 6 Comments

Colors of Sao Jao Festival – Goa

The feast of St. John the Baptist is celebrated with unspoilt ethnic Goan flavor on the 24th of June every year. Young men and boys of the village go as … Continue reading

July 10, 2010 · 3 Comments

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