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

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

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

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

A Story in A Sar Pallu Phulkari Textile

Before we had cartoon TV serials, we had cartoon comics. Like Tarzan and Phantom and Dennis and Amar Chitra Katha. But before that, we had textiles! And stories were written … Continue reading

August 6, 2016 · 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Latest Additions to the Antique Gallery – June 2012

Antique and Vintage acquisitions from the Dayak tribes from Sarawak, Sumatra and Kalimantan have been added to the Wovensouls galleries linked below: Antique Textiles from Borneo Antique Articles from Borneo … Continue reading

June 5, 2012

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

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

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

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

Tribal Signatures – Face Tattoos of the Apatani tribe

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

January 4, 2012

Arunachal Hilltribe Lifestyle 2 : Innovative housing

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

December 16, 2011 · Leave a comment

Head Hunting Trophies

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

December 11, 2011 · 4 Comments

Ram Leela at Dassera in Mumbai

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

November 16, 2011 · 2 Comments

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

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

Ancient Murals of Alchi Monastery – an art-collector’s delight

Alchi is a sleepy and simple unglorified village about 70 km to the West of Leh. Nothing in its approach route or in the buildings and structures of the village … Continue reading

September 23, 2011

A night-out with the Nomads of Changthang

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

September 15, 2011 · 6 Comments

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

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

Invitation to a Lambani Gypsy Tribal Wedding

A Lambani Gypsy family. A Village in Karnataka, India. May 8th 2011. An arranged marriage. This is an account of a gypsy tribal wedding in a tiny village that had … Continue reading

May 7, 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

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

Wood Art in Sikkim Monasteries – Windows, Doors and Pillars

The design of the Buddhist Monasteries in Sikkim is heavily influenced by Tibetan designs and bears a close similarity to the visuals seen on the other side of the Himalayas. … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Buddhist Yak Butter Art of Sikkim

I usually travel ‘blind’ – without detailed research. So I do not have a clear idea of what to expect. As a result, the experiences I go through along the … Continue reading

March 5, 2011 · 1 Comment

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

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

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

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

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

Thumbuakar Tribal Group, Borneo

What a delightful and soul satisfying find this has been!! Gorgeous humans, gorgeous textiles and topping all that – gorgeous performance art! Bamboo dance, fire dance – in which they … Continue reading

September 27, 2010 · Leave a comment

The magnificent Lion Dance

The boys performing these feats are not professionals. They are students or young working adults who also perform the lion dance… The main performers of a team are the dancers.  … Continue reading

September 8, 2010 · 1 Comment

Janmashtami Festival in Mumbai

On Krishna’s birthday this folk festival brings the whole mega city together – mainly to watch the human pyramids, and to dance to the accompanying bands in the Mumbai monsoons! … Continue reading

September 3, 2010 · 1 Comment

A cup of tea with Nomads and Gypsies of Kutch

  This trip in early 2006  marked the start of my solo travelling life. A novice solo traveller a bit nervous, but as usual serendipity helped me along….. Armed with … Continue reading

August 24, 2010 · 6 Comments

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

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

Common Memes between Tribes

To see the populations of India and China as ‘tribes’, one would certainly require  the consumption of certain mind-expanding agents – but for the sake of hypothetical discussion let us … Continue reading

August 11, 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

Newari Wood Art

I am ashamed now of my ignorance of that entire Himalayan region that houses a rainbow spectrum of historic cultures – that have left so many pieces of art & … Continue reading

July 9, 2010 · 1 Comment

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