The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

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

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

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

Goatherding with Gutthu – Travelogue

Gutthu sat on my lap staring into my eyes. Was there love? Was there bonding? Was this  unbroken stream of photons resulting in any emotional bonding from his side? Would … Continue reading

July 18, 2019 · Leave a comment

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

Old World Charm – Awadh Perfume Purse

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

May 29, 2019 · Leave a comment

Games of Chance – Ganjifa

A note on the beauty of antique Mysore Ganjifa Cards

May 24, 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

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

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

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

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

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 · 1 Comment

Wearing her mother’s Bridal Haalvan Phulkari

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

January 30, 2019 · 2 Comments

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

2019 – New Year Inspirations

And so another fresh beginning … one more chance to rejuvenate one’s mind…. Because we simply cannot allow ourselves to stagnate. If we are lucky the seeds of refreshing ideas … Continue reading

January 4, 2019 · 2 Comments

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

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

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

Artwork of the Day

A Peacock takes a little ram for a walk! What an endearing example of folk creativity! Seen in this most-beloved AntiqueQashqai Shekarlu rug that I cannot get enough of! More … Continue reading

October 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sleeping Under The Stars

My evening on the terrace has often turned into night. Alone with the stars and the sound of the sea and the darkness, I have found myself lying on the … Continue reading

September 30, 2018 · 1 Comment

The Susegad Dogs of Goa 

Susegad is an attitude Goa is known for. There is no exact translation – but it loosely means relaxed or carefree or don’t-worry-about-it or lazing or just-chill …. This attitude … Continue reading

September 7, 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

Book Recommendation – Bhutan Weavings

August 24, 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

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 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

Artwork of the Day 

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

June 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wealth of  Ladakh 

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

May 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

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

      Legacy of a Past Life 

This post is not about art or culture… Once upon a time I had a little venture called IQ Club. The idea came from working with my own kids and … Continue reading

May 20, 2018 · 2 Comments

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 – 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

An Extraordinary Feat

So at the top of Khardungla pass in a small cafe I saw this other solo traveller. Since two of us were the only ones there I asked about his … Continue reading

May 15, 2018 · 1 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

Himalayan Peaks – Journeys of the Soul

A few photos of some Himalayan Peaks taken over many journeys over the years. These spots evoke in me a great longing for journeys that I will never undertake …. … Continue reading

May 8, 2018 · Leave a comment

Walking on Water – The Zanskar Chadar

Come winter and the roads in the Himalayas are closed. But, as a way of compensation, the rivers freeze and create a path for those who must travel. Many villages … Continue reading

May 4, 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

The one thing I’d like to abolish… Goodbyes

The one thing I’s like to abolish is the “Good-bye” or its milder form – “Farewell”.  Friends leaving for other cities where their jobs take them and children leaving for … Continue reading

April 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Sawantwadi Palace

A walk around the charming old Palace building of Sawantwadi, in South Maharashtra just a few km from Goa. The overall building layout and the minor accents are native to … Continue reading

April 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix: Kilim ON the Sofa! 

Looking good?  Antique Sarkoy kilim now adding color to the sofa!  Jm April 2018

April 22, 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

Wealth of Motifs – Fulani Art!

What if we measured the wealth of nations by the number of indigenous motifs it has? Or the cultural history within those? Would we be fighting the same wars? Here … Continue reading

April 10, 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

Nomads in the Himalayas

Found these photos taken in March 2016 in my folders – waiting silently for my attention.   A sighting of a nomadic settlement – a split second decision to stop … Continue reading

March 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

Material Pleasures

When I was young I desired a million things but had no money to buy them with. Now when I am old, I have more money but very few things … Continue reading

March 12, 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

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

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

The Wine Cup of Emperor Shah Jahan

Emperor Shah Jahan’s wine cup: Am still confused about the way it is to be used as a cup for drinking …  It is probably cups like these that inspired … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sunbathing in Goa

The beauties get their annual sunbath!  ❤️

January 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

Crowning Glory of a Turban with Double Sided Embroidery

The absolutely mind-boggling craft of double sided embroidery on a turban! Maybe this will be one step forward in eradicating the gender bias… in a century or so maybe all … Continue reading

January 12, 2018 · 2 Comments

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

Art Revived

Some vanishing arts have been strengthened and resurrected by external change agents. Soof Embroidery of Gujarat is one such art that had the blessing of nurturing by people who devote … Continue reading

December 4, 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

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

That Place

That unforgettable place … I cannot seem to get it out of my mind. It had no name. There is no village to note the location. I had no compass … Continue reading

July 21, 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

Antique Batik Toraja Ceremonial Textile Artwork – Available for Sale

Available for Sale: Antique Toraja Batik Ceremonial Textile

May 14, 2017 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix

Majestic head lama performing Losar ceremonies at a monastery in Sikkim – where Life and Art are inextricably braided into one!!      

May 14, 2017 · Leave a comment

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 Balinese Lontar Beaded Basket – Available for Sale

Available for sale: ANtique Balinese Ceremonial Lontar Beaded Basket

May 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

Vintage Rajasthan Tribal Textile – Available for Sale

Available for Sale – Antique Shekhawati Tribal Shawl Odhana – embroidery on coarse handwoven cotton

May 9, 2017 · Leave a comment

Vintage Laotian Textile Art – Available for Sale

Available for Sale: Vintage Laotian Textile

May 8, 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

Antique Sindh Embroidered Wedding Shawl – Available for Sale

Available for Sale – Antique Sindh Embroidered Wedding Shawl

May 3, 2017 · Leave a comment

Living in the Lap of the Himalayas

Notes from a visit in 2016. This village is roughly 200 km away from the nearest airport. The Indus has created a gorge for itself over the centuries with two … Continue reading

March 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Walk in the Himalayas

A small video taking while walking along the Indus river in the Himalayas

March 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

Ballad by the Bauls of Bengal

A glimpse of the music by the Bauls the wandering minstrels of Bengal

February 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

Antique Tantric Phurba Carving – Available for Sale

Fourteen little pieces strung together in a necklace. Not an ordinary necklace but one that was used in rituals by tantric priests. Each is a Phurba made of Yak bone … Continue reading

January 30, 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

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

Old Tribal Beaded Hair Ornaments for a Child – Available for Sale

Handmade Beaded Hair ornaments for a child. How are these worn? These are fastened to the hair at the level of the eyes – somewhat like blinkers perhaps? Here is … Continue reading

December 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

Lives lived differently 

Goa. 2016. And people still fish for their dinner. As these men and I are now neighbours, it is time I adopt some of their ways. 1. Eat what you … Continue reading

December 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

Art for Our Pets

Do we love our pets enough to make such lovely things for them? Banjara Bullock Horn Covers See more on wovensouls.com Am sure handsome young Simba wouldn’t mind one more … Continue reading

December 12, 2016 · Leave a comment

Making Kajal

In the olden days in West & North India everyone – men women, children AND infants had their eyes anointed with Kajal or Kohl or Meysh. The closest equivalent word … Continue reading

November 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

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

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

The Holy River Ganga

A few sunrise photos captured on the phone camera of the important Ganga whose significance to Hindus is as deep as its waters.   This may seem obvious – but … Continue reading

August 30, 2016 · 1 Comment

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

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

Rise of the Phoenix – Antique Silk Batik Shawl – Available for Sale

Or is it an enormous bee? This style of hand drawn batik (on silk) was created in Java for the Balinese market. This piece is in such a lovely condition … Continue reading

July 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Exotic Art from an Exotic Era

We all read the newspapers even today. But in the past 4-5 years, newspapers have been replaced by the internet as my main source of news. By the time I … Continue reading

July 1, 2016 · 1 Comment

Art of Africa – Kente Cloth – Available for Sale

A piece in a museum store priced at US$4000 (only) caught my eye. Such a high valuation piqued my interest and I began reading. The palimpsest of Kente cloths is … Continue reading

June 11, 2016 · 3 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 – Warli Paintings on Dung

The original idea was to use the cow dung walls of homes as the medium to paint on using white pigment made of rice & gum. Then at some point … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · 3 Comments

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

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

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

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

The Charm of a Small Town – Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Until my ship sailed to Sihanoukville I did not even know that such a town existed. Cambodia is usually all about Angkor Wat and being the blind tourist that I … Continue reading

April 26, 2015 · 3 Comments

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

Ideology of a Nomadic Life

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

March 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

Myanmar Diaries

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

February 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

Street Culture of Myanmar – a Photo Travelogue

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

February 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

A Story in a Nose Ring

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

May 1, 2014 · 2 Comments

TWO WORLDS

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

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Hamlets & Herds

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

April 5, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Scent of a Textile

It is easy to be struck by the beauty of the Textile visually. But sometimes the stimulation extends to realms beyond the visual. Today I received an antique shawl from … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

Rural India Beckons!

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

March 15, 2014 · 1 Comment

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

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

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

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

A Large Heirloom Ladakhi Skeypuk Necklace

Made primarily of the much valued coral and the turquoise that is very popular in the region, This Skyepuk has a large Ghau amulet box encrusted with turquoise. A very … Continue reading

October 12, 2013 · Leave a comment

Small Town Magic – In Mega Mumbai

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

September 24, 2013 · 4 Comments

Small Town magic – The Best Street Food

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

September 24, 2013 · 1 Comment

A walk through the Panaji Fish Market

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

September 16, 2013 · 2 Comments

Gypsy Nomad Herder Women of Rajasthan

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

September 13, 2013 · 1 Comment

Handsome Turbans of Western India

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

September 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Animals in our Lives

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

September 7, 2013 · 3 Comments

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

Behind Bars – Imprisoning the Mind

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

August 8, 2013 · 1 Comment

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

Choodi Waale Baaba – the Bangle Seller

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

June 28, 2013 · 2 Comments

Interesting nuggets about Odisha

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

June 26, 2013 · 2 Comments

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

New Textile Art Pieces in the WovenSouls Collection – November 2012

Am back from a project in Kutch India. The dealers of antique textiles are preparing for an alternate as they believe that the supply of up tribal textiles is drying … Continue reading

October 31, 2012 · 3 Comments

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

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

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

Mewar Diaries

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

April 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

The 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

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

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

Traditional Sports of Ladakh – Archery

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

October 24, 2011

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

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

October 24, 2011 · Leave a comment

Bactrian Camels of the Central Asian Silk Route – Ladakh

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

October 23, 2011

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

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

October 23, 2011 · Leave a comment

Traditional Sports of Ladakh – Polo

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

October 4, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Textile Art of the Ahom Kingdom – Guwahati Museum Collection

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

February 17, 2011 · 2 Comments

Tribal Textile and Bead Art of Nagaland

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

December 27, 2010 · 3 Comments

Nagaland Diaries

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

December 26, 2010 · 1 Comment

Tribal Dances of Nagaland

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

December 26, 2010

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

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

Nomads of Mongolia

A youtube video on the nomads from Mongolia.   jm

November 15, 2010 · Leave a comment

Panaji to Sindhudurg Sea Fort and back

If you are considering going to Sindhudurg Sea Fort, you’d look at the map, find Sindhudurg on it and then head for it….but that would be a mistake! If you … Continue reading

October 24, 2010

The Dhunuchi Dance at Durga Puja

I first experienced this dance through one of the most beautiful Hindi films of this decade – Parineeta. This dance is performed at the Durga Puja – a hindu festival … Continue reading

October 13, 2010 · Leave a comment

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 Dragon Dance

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

September 10, 2010 · Leave a comment

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

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

Kissing a Bengal Tiger

If Webster needed examples from the real world to explain the word ‘inappropriate’ – the names of two tigers I met and cuddled, Sticky Rice and Spicy Sausage would be … Continue reading

August 12, 2010 · 1 Comment

Goan Village House

Of the three top attractions of Goa, two are secrets. Beaches are the only commonly known feature …but the quaint villages and the forests remain ignored by most. The continuous … Continue reading

July 27, 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

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