The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

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

WHO are these MEN?

Fascinating to find five men lurking in a soumac rug fragment….. Here they are! Am assuming they are men because of the hair. The lower half is mermaidesque … am … Continue reading

October 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Who knew! Butterfly Wing Art

Who could have imagined that the world went through a phase in which they made paintings using butterfly wings! With a short lifespan of 2 weeks, it may well be … Continue reading

October 9, 2019 · Leave a comment

Museum Walk – African Masks & More

A Photo essay on the amazing African collection of the De Young museum, San Francisco. There are about 150 photos so get your cup of coffee and enjoy this virtual … Continue reading

September 30, 2019 · Leave a comment

Hybrid Art 6 – Swat Pillow Case

A hybrid textile that memetically straddles two worlds … The motif is from Caucasus region and often seen in wool rugs while the execution in this piece from the Swat … Continue reading

September 30, 2019 · Leave a comment

Hybrid Art – 5 – Himalayan Ornament

Here is a hybrid from the Himalayas. A Taweez is worn to ward off the evil eye and is a concept that finds favor in Islamic communities. But in this … Continue reading

September 30, 2019 · Leave a comment

Hybrid Art – 4 – Phulkari Shawl

667 Amazing Sar Pallu on a navy blue Nilak base cloth. The impact of the gold & magenta against the deep blue base is amazing! But the remarkable aspect of this … Continue reading

September 30, 2019 · 1 Comment

Museum Walk – Papua New Guinea Shields & Spirit Boards

A visit to the De Young Museum enthralls even though I had NO clue what  was looking at. The culture is brought out in the art, but sadly, clueless me … Continue reading

September 25, 2019 · Leave a comment

Little Temples in Gold – Majapahit Gold Rings

Pramabanan Temples. On a  visit in 2016 I did not do it justice to the experience. At many levels. Just one day at the heritage site. A visit scheduled during … Continue reading

September 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Desert Art – Motifs of the Bishnoi People

How can one not love this art? In my few trips to Rajasthan I’ve not had the good fortune of seeing these in-situ .. being worn by the Bishnoi women. … Continue reading

August 26, 2019 · 1 Comment

Animal Love

We all love our animals! The Qashqai weaver put hers in her rug while I had a few sweet moments with a sheep & a goat in my lap! See … Continue reading

August 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

Spinning Yarn

Seen in the Himalayas….an activity, a skill, a lifestyle …. People STILL live in this charming way! All through our afternoon conversation in which our minds and voices engaged, their … Continue reading

July 24, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Himalayan Monk’s Mask for Royal Rituals

The masked dances of Himalayan Buddhist monks are fascinating and since 2011, I’ve watched them on four different occasions in various monasteries (Kalimpong, Matho, Stok, Jokhang-Leh ).   The Chamms … Continue reading

July 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Lion of Punjab – Sher-e-Punjab

Punjab – the land that has been facing invasions for centuries – values bravery and courage. And the lion offers an excellent metaphor for these values. Maharana Ranjit Singh was … Continue reading

July 8, 2019 · 5 Comments

All Creatures Great & Small

  The writings of explorer-authors form a bridge between our urban world and the world of nomads and other rural communities who live by different life models. Reading about those … Continue reading

July 5, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Life of an Old Thangka

Thangkas that were once in active use for worship hung in high places inside monasteries. They are exposed to butter-lamp vapors over decades.The inside of a monastery is filled with … Continue reading

June 26, 2019 · Leave a comment

Enjoying WOVENSOULS?

If you have been enjoying WOVENSOULS could you please take a moment to rate the effort on Trustpilot? here:  https://www.trustpilot.com/evaluate/www.wovensouls.com It will be a huge help for my small gallery! … Continue reading

June 18, 2019 · Leave a comment

Rich Motifs Rich Palette

The well-balanced aesthetics of the motif, combined with the color combination they have been rendered in, further combined with the range they are seen in in any given Arkilla make … Continue reading

June 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Games of Chance – Ganjifa

A note on the beauty of antique Mysore Ganjifa Cards

May 24, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Girl with the Dragon

Can you spot her? . . . . . Isn’t she lovely? See more of this gorgeous not-for-sale antique dragon sumac rug here on WOVENSOULS – asset 1379. *** jm … Continue reading

May 20, 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

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

The Art of Marble Jalis

Seen at the magnificent Mumbai Airport Museum. Cannot get enough of this airport! jm April 2019

April 23, 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 · 4 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

Daily Art Fix – Stars in her EYES

“Stars in her eyes” – A bridal scarf from the Yao group. The textile is not old but has been made by an old experienced hand! Frame it / hang … Continue reading

April 2, 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

Sailing along the Mekong River Delta

On a hot summer’s day in a place called in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, we went out to see daily life and the floating markets. In a place connected … Continue reading

March 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Learning History through Art – Sikh Rule in Kashmir

Exploring an example of Sikh influence in Kashmir through illuminated paintings in the Kashmir school from a Bhagavat Gita manuscript written in Sikhi Gurmukhi script

March 12, 2019 · 1 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

Architecture of Amritsar

What have these bricks seen? Set in the city of Amritsar, these buildings have seen strife and tragedy like few others have. The Jalianwala Baug massacre, the Partition, Operation Blue … Continue reading

February 8, 2019 · 2 Comments

Divine Caring

A street photo taken just outside the Golden Temple Complex, Amritsar 7am, Early February, Temperature 14 degrees Celsius No words needed.

February 6, 2019 · 1 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 · 2 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

The Olden Days – Right Here Right Now

Different places in the world are living in different time zones. And so  even though it is not yet possible to do time travel, it is possible to revisit my … Continue reading

January 20, 2019 · Leave a comment

Boats of Eastern India, 1800s – Company School Paintings

Seen on an auction site, these paintings give us a glimpse of the lifestyle of those times. To pursue the characters that lived these lives, watch the Netflix original series … Continue reading

January 11, 2019 · Leave a comment

Heaven is THIS

My view of heavenly bliss

January 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

Gateways of Bali

Just a few photos of the amazing art that is just everywhere in Bali. The artsy environment goes a long way in making this a spiritual haven. ❤️ jm Dec … Continue reading

December 30, 2018 · 1 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 · 1 Comment

Chinese Paintings on Ailments

The last thing I expected to find in a medical centre is art that might arrest my attention. But here I am between tasks finding myself searching for the wall … Continue reading

November 19, 2018 · Leave a comment

Morning Coffee 

Morning Coffee with soft morning sunlight lighting up a cicim from Anatolia, Tantric ritual objects from Nepal, an Indonesian couple in Batik and a Khmer-style bronze!  ❤️ Do drop by … Continue reading

November 12, 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

Fine Embroidery on Indigo from the Yao Hilltribes

Collected from the source a decade ago, these lovely vintage embroidered indigo costumes of the Yao people are currently on offer as a single lot at a discounted launch price … Continue reading

October 18, 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 Retirees

Living the high life! The accessories and the blissful expressions say it all! Acquired in a flea market in Singapore twnty years ago and now sits prominently on a camphor … Continue reading

September 3, 2018 · 3 Comments

Raincoats of the Fortunate – Bhutan Textiles

Destinies differ between individuals. And between people groups. In the plate of destiny granted to me, raincoats were made of plastic. In the plate of the fortunate, raincoats were works … Continue reading

August 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Astitva Project – New Beginnings – May 2018

For those who have provided encouragement and support and are following the story – here are some photos that just came in today. The loom is being constructed by the … Continue reading

August 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Man and His Dowry

In many parts of North Africa, at the time of the proposal the families discuss the dowry the man is willing to pay to get his bride. The dowry is … Continue reading

August 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Birds of Indonesia

So someone said ‘why only talk talk about art always’ …. So let’s change the track a bit for today and talk about birds! I spent an hour this afternoon … Continue reading

July 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

External Article: Italy’s last Sea Silk Master (on BBC)

Byssus, or sea silk, is one of the rarest and most coveted materials in the world – and this is the last person on Earth who still knows how to … Continue reading

July 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Astitva Project – Phase III

  Just as life happens just one step at a time, it seems to me that in the same way wisdom reveals itself one step at a time. It would … Continue reading

July 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Before the Blue Jeans came along…

My world seemed mighty impressed with the concept of ‘blue jeans’ when they came along in the 1970s. Everyone had to have a pair. But before that, much much before … Continue reading

June 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Rare Art of Double Sided Shia Embroidery

It is said that this art is no longer practiced. I am told they come from the Swat valley neighborhood and since there are not enough such textiles these are … Continue reading

June 11, 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

Breathtaking Monastery Art

First, the altitude in the Himalayas makes me breathless and then the paintings in the monasteries take my breath away! Each monastery has so much to offer the vision that … Continue reading

May 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Painting Seen on a Wall in Nomadic Chanthang

Contemporary Art is one area that Dies not appeal to me.  But this painting seen on a wall  spike to me enough to want to cluck it and shate ut … Continue reading

May 25, 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

A New Mystery -Ancient Terracotta Blocks 

Seen in one of the important trading hubs of the old Silk Route – and retrieved with difficulty from the back of  a dealer’s dusty shelf, lying in a plastic … Continue reading

May 23, 2018 · 1 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

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 4

The Yarma Gombo A set of natural rock formations revered and venerated by Buddhists as the appearance resembles the face of Buddha and other dieties. I would not have known … Continue reading

May 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 3

Seen just outside Mulbeg – An engraving on a mountain face that may have been the starting point of a sculpture.  May 2018

May 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mountain Art – Large Ancient Himalayan Buddhas – 1

Huge Ancient Buddhist Sculptures in the Himalayas

May 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Museums or Online?

I was writing a little description for one of my beloved pieces – doting on various aspects, discovering new elements that I had not noticed before and in general giving … Continue reading

May 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ancient Cave Paintings in Sasphol

13th Century Sasphol Caves, Ladakh Went up a mountain to see the magnificent Buddhist cave paintings. Worth every huff and puff. The big achievement was the small journey out of … Continue reading

May 10, 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

Art from the Past: 17th  Century Tibetan Paintings

Deities and Deomons with Tantric phurbas and dorjeys!  Under study

May 6, 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

Daily Art Fix: Men with an extra Arm?

Or is it a stick?  Maybe they are the sons of the weaver!  Interesting motif on an antique Kazak rug. 

March 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sentinels & Thresholds 

The threshold is a very important line in a traditional Indian home.  It is washed and decorated beautifully every day with auspicious symbols  drawn in powder by the woman of … Continue reading

February 28, 2018 · 4 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Antique Kalamkari Art

A fabulous 17th C Kalamkari Artwork!

February 23, 2018 · Leave a comment

Patan Patola Ikat Weaving – HOW?

For those who wondered how! A video interview with a masterweaver Kanaiyalalbhai who explains the process step by step. To understand the technique of weaving Patan Patola double ikats and … Continue reading

February 14, 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

Painted Map of Benaras – Indian Art

A pilgrim’s map of Benaras with the Kashi Vishwanath temple at the centre. Seen in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London Feb 2018 jaina mishra| wovensouls View more Exquisite Antique … Continue reading

February 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – An Antique Robe with Amli Embroidery

Works such as these remind us of the value added simply by the skill of an artist! The wool and the silk and the scissors could have made a robe … Continue reading

February 4, 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

Goan Portugese Houses – Art in Architecture

Classic Goan Portugese Houses are found all over Goan villages. Some are in great condition, others dilapidated. Viewed collectively, they represent an art style that belongs to the late 1800s … Continue reading

February 1, 2018 · 2 Comments

The Weight of Commitment 

The weight of this token of commitment is about 100grams. Of Gold. !!! In case you are underwhelmed … here is a similar piece displayed in the V & A … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Kalamkari Coverlet – Antique Indian Textiles

A visit to any museum can be exhausting and the maximum I can handle is about 1 – 2 hours of exposure. In any given hall there are always too … Continue reading

January 23, 2018 · 2 Comments

Creating Art Every Day

Isn’t it terrific that in our way of life, the act of creating art is one of the basic household activities that every single woman indulges in? Art is too … Continue reading

January 5, 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

Bullock Carts & Oil Mills in Applique! 

An endearing naive  2-dimensional rendering of bullock cart & a bullock-run oil press or oil mill! And the featute that makes me wonder about the Banjara connection is the white … Continue reading

December 25, 2017 · 1 Comment

My kind of Palace

After a long time I have been able to afford the time to take a little solo trip.  And here I am in a charming palace sipping green tea!  in … Continue reading

December 13, 2017 · 2 Comments

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

Walking the Dog

And the bird in the cage. Scene in a double sided embroidery from the early 1900s.  But could well have been a snapshot from modern day Singapore!  More photos of … Continue reading

November 12, 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

Daily Art Fix -Sindh Dowry Embroidery

Bless the woman who made this!! A great way to start my day …. with a dose of beauty – gives the heart a small positive kickstart!  Sept 2017

September 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Tales the Phra Malai Thai Manuscripts tell!

It will be years before I will be able to understand all the stories contained in the few Phra Malai manuscripts that I’ve seen! Some are stories from the life … Continue reading

September 17, 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

More Strength to the Camel’s Back!

Here’s a beauty that will strengthen the proverbial camel’s back ….  With something so gorgeous to call his own,  no last straw will ever have the strength to break his … Continue reading

September 4, 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

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

A New Museum to explore

One more window to the history of art & culture. One more state museums – and from my experience, state museums in India are absolutely fantastic!! They go into the … Continue reading

June 16, 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

Art – A Bridge to the Past – Reading a Janam Patri from Raja Bhom’s era

Exploring an old scroll from Rajasthan from the time of Raja Bhom

May 25, 2017 · 2 Comments

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 – 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

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

Antique Cheriyal Painted Scroll – Art for Oral Traditions

In  South Indian Paintings  – A catalogue of the British Museum collection, A. L. Dallaiccola notes  “Although in the past the majority of Indian people might have been illiterate, they … Continue reading

May 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Yao Ceremonial Mask

On a trip in 2009, I got this Yao mask from back of the bottom drawer of a store owned by an elderly couple. The beautiful woman and I shared … Continue reading

May 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

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

External Article: Chamba Rumal Embroidered Textiles 

A primer on Chamba Rumal: Link Apr 2017

April 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Himalayan Art, Style and Fashion

A look at the ornate headdress of the Himalayan Aryan People

April 10, 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

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

Dragons and Serpents from Laos – Textile Art

According to Lao mythology the Naga are the protectors of the Lao state and it is quite natural that they are found in all the forms of art practiced there. … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Old Silver Opium Hafeem Box – Available for Sale

Available for Sale: Old Silver Opium Box

January 18, 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

Games People Play

  This seemingly benign game is played by 2-4 people of all ages. A roll of dice and a little thinking determine the outcome. The boards I have played it … Continue reading

January 3, 2017 · 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

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

Art of the Universe – Yao Shaman Robes

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

October 3, 2016 · 2 Comments

The City of Benaras

“Yeh Benaras Hai” Literally it means “This is Banaras” but the tone included pride and an assurance – a way of saying “Don’t worry – it’s okay – this is … Continue reading

October 1, 2016 · 2 Comments

Mother of Pearl Inlay – Art in Wood

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

September 23, 2016 · 3 Comments

Hybrid Art 2 – A Paithani weave from Benaras

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

September 16, 2016 · 1 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

Daily Art Fix – Pathan Embroidery

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

September 9, 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

Cultural Fusion & Hybrid Art – 1

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

August 31, 2016 · 3 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

Diversity in Folk Art – Bone Carvings

Exploring one more medium of folk art – Bones!

August 2, 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

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

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 – 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

Royal Loin Cloths of Ceylon

Exploring some amazing rare antique loin cloths of Ceylon

May 2, 2016 · Leave a 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

Waiting to Grow Old

A friend reminded me that at 50, we are the youngest of the old people. But I cannot wait to get to the next stage and become the oldest of … Continue reading

March 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

News from the Met Museum

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

March 17, 2016 · 1 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

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

Textiles in Ancient Balinese Paintings

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

January 14, 2016 · 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

Lambanis Celebrating Life  – Festive Dance

Ceremonial Dance of the Lambani group

January 7, 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

Book of the Month – Dec 2015

   Superb Reference book!  Dec 2015

December 30, 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

Daily Art Fix – Ceremonial Sumatra Weaving

A stunning festive weaving from pre-1900 Sumatra

December 26, 2015 · Leave a comment

Jewels of Serendipity

When I look at the whole picture of my life, I have no doubt that I am on the right side of the luck line. But in every segment of … Continue reading

December 23, 2015 · 1 Comment

Lombok Art – for the Ears & Eyes!

Just pictures  of the art of the Sasak tribe from three different locations in Lombok:   And some pieces from the Mataram Museum: And finally an older drummer So much … Continue reading

December 21, 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

Art for Food!

Covering food with a piece of cloth in the pre-plastic / glass era, seems to be a natural solution to the problem of keeping food fresh / safe / clean. … Continue reading

November 24, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Emperor’s Robe of ‘Literacy’

They were called illiterate. Because those who decided this wrote with pen and paper wrote in characters and not pictures used a different script logic * had a qualitatively different … Continue reading

November 23, 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

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

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

Mochi or Cobbler Embroidery of Gujarat

Anyone who knows Gujarati or Hindi knows that Mochi means a cobbler. So when I first heard my dealer say that a category of very fine embroidery is known as … Continue reading

November 7, 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

Daily Art Fix – A Thousand Silent Bells

Heavy Silent Jhanjhar from Maharashtra, Early 1900s The latest addition to the Wovensouls collection Read more about Payal Traditions here. jm Oct 2015.

October 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

The ASTITVA Project – Rescuing Textile Traditions – Chapter 1

ASTITVA = IDENTITY. This project intends to rescue at-risk textile traditions among vanishing cultures in India.

August 3, 2015 · 9 Comments

Anatolia Diaries

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone Interesting Istanbul 1 Interesting Istanbul 2 A Walk through the Grand Bazar of Istanbul Intrigued by the past – Cappadocia Art … Continue reading

July 25, 2015 · 1 Comment

Finding Purpose

Let us pray to the Gods of Probability that the opportunities that come our way, come at the right timing in our lives, and that we have the wisdom to … Continue reading

July 7, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Kinnaur Weaving

Click to view more images of this recently woven shawl from Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India. Daily Art Fix – Kinnaur Weaving July 2015 textile art, himachal weaving, himachal textile, India … Continue reading

July 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

Karakalpak Motifs – Art in Geometry

              Sometimes it is enough to just enjoy the visual without knowing the meaning… View the complete piece and other images here on wovensouls,com … Continue reading

July 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Walk through the Grand Bazar of Istanbul

Too often as I stroll through a market and like something, I do not buy it right away – thinking that I will pick it up on the way back.  … Continue reading

June 29, 2015 · 1 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

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

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

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

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 Magic of Making Silk Fiber

Watching fine silk fibers being drawn out of a silkworm pupa is captivating & magical! If the world were to begin again, and no one knew about silk, would I … Continue reading

April 20, 2015 · 1 Comment

Book of the Month – April 2015

The last book I picked up – a world bestseller – did not hold my attention. I had to drop it half way. My teachers used to say we must … Continue reading

April 20, 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

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

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

Myanmar Diaries

A few notes on the culture & art of Myanmar (Burma) experienced first-hand.

February 5, 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

Daggers in the Heart – Textile Art to die for!

The Ain-i Akbari manuscript, a part of the Akbarnama volumes written by Abu’l-Fazl in 1621 documents various weapons used in the Mughal era. Among the weapons described is the Jamdhar … Continue reading

January 12, 2015 · 2 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

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

We and They

A poem by Kipling on ‘diversity’.

November 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

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

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

Jatripatti – Antique Traditional Paintings of Puri, Odisha

This style of painting that has a subject focus of the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri, India, is now extinct unfortunately. Hindus have four important pilgrimage spots -known as … Continue reading

August 11, 2014 · Leave a 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

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

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

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

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

Dealing with Addiction

How does one do it? How does one wean oneself off? How to stop obsessing? How to break free of the hypnotic spell? How to stop wallowing in the semi-conscious … Continue reading

May 8, 2014 · 1 Comment

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

Unparalleled Art in Architecture – Havelis of Jaisalmer

The unparalleled art in the architecture seen in the Havelis of Jaisalmer mesmerizes and leaves the visitor speechless. The spell cast by the beauty of the walls built with stone … Continue reading

April 20, 2014 · 2 Comments

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

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

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

Rajasthan Diaries

The caravan stops again.  At Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and the surrounding desert villages! Sand dunes, an abandoned village, mesmerising architecture, a surprising desert-turned-fertile landscape, warm people, and finally an unforgettable meeting … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 20 Comments

Introducing The Swat & Kohistan Textiles Collection on Wovensouls.com

Introducing a small collection of textiles from a culture that is literally being extinguished by war. The silk embroidery of these textiles is as fine and delicate as their living … Continue reading

March 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Article in PASSAGE – Magazine of Asian Civilisations Museum Singapore

My article in Passage, the magazine of the Friends of the Museum, ACM, Singapore: jm May 2014

March 16, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Craft of the Kalamkari of South India

Kalamkari – literally meaning ‘pen craft’ [ Kalam = pen in Urdu]  involving painting and printing on cloth with natural dyes. Styles of Kalamkari Art The art is an ancient … Continue reading

March 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

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 | Art Photo Print “Worship”

Fine Art Photo Print Presented by The Esplanade, Singapore in the “Sounds of Shanti’ series in an exhibition in 2013. Now available for acquisition at Vanishing Cultures. ‘Vanishing Cultures’ An … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

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

Goa Diaries

The Honey Trappers Goan Fisherman’s tale – traditional wisdom, traditional fishing Church of St. Francis Xavier of Assisi, Old Goa Goan Portugese Houses – Art in Architecture Narakasura Festival Goan Folk Art – … Continue reading

January 30, 2014 · Leave a 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

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

Mystical Gold Ornaments from the past

When I look at some  of the ornaments from the past, they leave me awestruck! The art & craft within them is doubtlessly stunning. But beyond that, there is an … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 2 Comments

Antique Yao Head Cloth – 3-D weaving!

A close look at the end-bands of this Yao Head cloth (or shoulder cloth) reveals a 3-Dimensional visual that has been created intentionally! Worn by women on the head in … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 1 Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Textile Art of Gujarat

I grew up in the Gujarati community of traders. A community in which the critical success factor is ‘data mining’ within the community. Fathers, father’s brothers, mother’s brothers, neighbourhood elders, … Continue reading

July 25, 2013 · 3 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

The story of the Pattua Painting of Bengal in the Wovensouls Collection

A few months ago, I spotted a piece of vintage folk art and without knowing quite what it was, I acquired it. It was a scroll, about 1 foot wide … Continue reading

June 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Ankle Jewelry or Payal or Jhanjhar Traditions of Asia

All the assets in this article are a part of the WOVENSOULS collection and additional details of each asset may be viewed here on WovenSouls.com . Payal … a piece … Continue reading

June 22, 2013 · 11 Comments

Wall Art of Rural Rajasthan

Dedicated to those mistaken souls for whom ‘rural’ implies ‘poor’  or ‘undeveloped’ or ‘in-need-of-upliftment’. May the following pictures give them reason to modify their beliefs. Following are pictures of a … Continue reading

May 29, 2013 · 10 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

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

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 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

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

Inuit Art – whale bone sculptures Mc Cord Museum

On a casual stroll through the Mc Cord museum in Montreal I stumbled upon many delightful facts! Whale bone art sculptures that depicted scenes from daily life were interesting mainly … 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

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

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 drive through Old Kuching

Traditional homes in a city setting Roof tiles made of old Beliang wood. Wooden walls, slatted windows, stilts – all charming features of the homes in the old locality in … Continue reading

June 23, 2012

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

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

Latest Photography Galleries – May 2012

Photo galleries added to JainaMishra.com recently  have been linked below: May 2012 PORTRAITS – MANGANIYAR MUSICIAN TRIBE OF RAJASTHAN PORTRAITS – GARASIA TRIBE OF RAJASTHAN PORTRAITS – TURBANS PORTRAITS – … Continue reading

May 2, 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

Folk Dances of Rajasthan

No words. Just videos that I have taken on my phone camera at the Bagaur Haveli in Udaipur. 1. A folk musician plays a traditional instrument called the Raavanhatta : … Continue reading

April 20, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Man with 39 Wives

A remote village in Mizoram. Returning from Lunglei to Aizawl I took a detour via Sirchip in order to meet this man with a new idea of life. Communication with … Continue reading

March 17, 2012 · Leave a comment

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

Street Dwellers in Bombay

Everyone has heard about the much romanticised and much media-exploited slums of Bombay. There are even organised tours through the slums! Most outsiders think that slum life is the rock … Continue reading

March 17, 2012

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 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

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

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

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

“An Indian Discovers India” – Photo Art Prints Exhibition

For an Indian born and raised in urban India, discovering the diverse spectrum of cultures in the extreme geographical ends has been a journey filled with revelations about India’s identity. … Continue reading

November 3, 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

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

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

Antique Jain Paintings, India

Jainism as a religion has harmony with all elements of nature as one of the core beliefs. Non violence, minimalistic living and compassion are values central to its philosophy. All … Continue reading

August 13, 2011

Antique Sculptures of Buddha

Crowned Buddha in Dharmachakra, 11th century. This sculpture is a typical representation of ‘Pala’ art found in Bihar, India. Many such scultpures were placed in niches around the Bodh Gaya … Continue reading

August 6, 2011

Church of St. Francis Xavier of Assisi, Old Goa

I studied at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, and my school was a convent run by a nun order that is closely associated with the Jesuit priests, an order started … Continue reading

July 25, 2011 · 2 Comments

Shadow Puppets of Malaysia, Indonesia & South India

Wayang Kulit is the name given to folk ‘shadow’ puppet shows performed in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The puppe tperformances are usually story telling mediums and most stories narrate excerpts … Continue reading

July 21, 2011

Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an – a photo gallery

Made of . These and other artifacts like bells, cranes, amulets and weapons are all widely speculated by experts to be part of the recreation of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s … Continue reading

July 16, 2011 · 3 Comments

Antique Java Topeng Masks and Wayang Topeng

Wayang Topeng is an Indonesian dance form that uses masks such as the ones shown below, that evolved in the 16th century. Performances enact Javanese stories about 12th century heroes … Continue reading

July 11, 2011

Viva San Jao

24th June 2011 A second visit to the wonderful non-touristy festival in Goa! For the local people and by the local people. Vibrant colors, Vibrant music, Vibrant boat decor and … Continue reading

June 25, 2011 · 1 Comment

Intricate Nyonya Glass Beadwork – antique pieces from the Peranakan Museum, Singapore

  Peranakan culture expresses itself in many unique ways and the glass bead embroidery on articles of daily use is probably the prettiest of all Peranakan cultural signatures. Glass bead … Continue reading

April 27, 2011

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

Sikkim Diaries

‘To live many lifetimes within a lifetime…”. Its time for another lifetime! My trip to Sikkim in March 2011, was planned during the week of Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebrations. … Continue reading

March 17, 2011

Chanting ceremony at Kagyud Monastery, Lingdum, Sikkim

The Kagyud Monastery was the best experience of my Sikkim trip. This is the monastery that I will return to someday. On the first visit, 2 days prior to Losar, … Continue reading

March 17, 2011 · 1 Comment

Lama Dances at Thongsa Monastery, Kalimpong

The dates for my Sikkim trip were arranged so that I could experience the Lama Dances at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. Information on the net was sketchy, but some websites … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Breathtaking Mural Paintings of Sikkim Monasteries

The images need no supporting words… Just a small preface …all images were taken inside a large hall lit only by a few butter lamps. I have not used a … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Buddhist Ritual Objects

My awareness of Buddhist rituals and practices is limited to my observations. Someday I hope I will have the opportunity to seek out the stories and the philosophies behind these … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Art in Sikkimese Monastery Architecture

The initial images display exteriors of monasteries while the last dozen display the interiors. Back to Sikkim Diaries jm March 2011

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Pattachitra Art of Assam

Pattachitra is similar to ‘storyboards’ or stories told along with pictures. The tales depicted are usually derived from epics such as Bhagawat and Ramayana. In ancient India, this art was … Continue reading

February 18, 2011 · 3 Comments

Rural art & crafts of Assam

Art arises as an expression of common people as expressions of culture, expression of religion and expression of belief. In cases where the art form finds a patron, the technique … Continue reading

February 18, 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

Street Shrines of India

The Gods are everywhere – literally. In busy Bombay, in parts where its working class real people live, almost every street has a wayside shrine. A holy tree or an … Continue reading

January 22, 2011 · 1 Comment

Cultural Photography

It started with an interest in Tibetan antiques introduced to me by the local flea market. Searches on the internet led me to ebay and while I looked at Tibetan … Continue reading

January 12, 2011 · 1 Comment

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

Sacrificial Lamb at Kamakhya temple, Guwahati

I had heard about the Kamakhya or Kamakshi temple through a scientist friend recently. He was intrigued by the world of Tantrics and as he talked about his fascination, he … Continue reading

December 24, 2010 · 10 Comments

Chiang Mai Diaries

Lifestyle of Hilltribes of Northern Thailand Textile Symbolism – 1 : Hilltribes of Northern Thailand Antique Textiles | Hilltribes Hmong Batik Art Antique Yao Head Cloth – 3-D weaving! Kissing a Bengal Tiger

December 20, 2010 · Leave a comment

Traditional Naga Bamboo Climbing and Fire Making

Greased-bamboo pole climbing and Traditional fire-making….a few images. Boys preparing to compete in the greased bamboo pole climbing competition between tribes Splashing mud to create friction *** Fire making by … Continue reading

December 13, 2010 · Leave a comment

Naga lifestyle

Pineapple plantation Buddies chatting on a ‘puliya’ Local Backpacks Dimapur market: Small intertwining lanes that would challenge the map-drawers skills; Shops spilling out onto the streets with wares stacked in … Continue reading

December 13, 2010 · 1 Comment

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

Journey of a lifetime – Tibet

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step… For this magnificent journey, many administrative steps needed to be taken to make the journey possible. But every stressful … Continue reading

November 22, 2010 · Leave a comment

North East India

Jointly called the seven sisters and one big brother, even most graduates in India would have difficulty naming these states – which is a complete shame! Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, … Continue reading

November 16, 2010 · Leave a comment

The Lifestyle of the Qashqai tribe

A few lifestyle videos of the Qashqai Images of the beautiful Qashqai people Music Folk Dance Daily Life Rug Creation Rugs from the Qashqai usually have their signature on them … Continue reading

November 15, 2010 · Leave a comment

Nomads of Mongolia

A youtube video on the nomads from Mongolia.   jm

November 15, 2010 · Leave a comment

Goan Folk Art – Tulsi Pots

Goa is known for its beaches …but over the years its numerous hidden attractions have revealed themselves to me, slowly, one at a time, ensuring that I remain in love … Continue reading

October 25, 2010