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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

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

Responsibility of Caring for an Antique Yuncu Kilim

An endearing note from the dealer who sold me this …

March 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Bonona Festival of the Himalayan Aryans

October 2016 A trip to the interiors of the Himalayan ranges. A journey that would have taken 6 days by animal carriers 40 years ago but today takes 7 hours. … Continue reading

May 24, 2017 · 2 Comments

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

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

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

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

A Precious Package for a Precious Bundle – Dayak Baby Carrier

One more precious carrier for a precious baby! Over a dozen types of trade beads, some extremely fine, some multicolored, some from one of the 3 groups of mutisalah beads, … Continue reading

January 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

Made for Each Other – A Handsome Turban for a Handsome man

\\ A guest at a Rabari Wedding wearing a handmade turban. jm Sep 2015

September 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Dowry Bags & Purses

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

July 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

Rajasthan Tribal Costume

Regular Costume of a woman from Rajasthan belonging to the Garasia tribe – one of the numerous tribes in Rajasthan. Am wondering how many of us can carry off that … Continue reading

July 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

Naga Shells – Nocte Naga Portrait

Portrait of a Nocet Naga girl with traditional costume

March 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Women of the World – Garasia Tribe

Click to see more images of the colorful tribe! jm March 2015

March 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

When there is Respect – A glimpse of Bastar, India

In a land as diverse as India, even the smallest administrative segment – the Taluka or District – is home to a few dozen communities. Therefore, no matter who is … Continue reading

July 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Lambani Project

The Banjaras  & the Lambanis lived in the forested areas, mainly in South India.They have now been settled in villages through government schemes and no longer follow the nomadic / … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Mystical Banjara Textiles

What does one get when the women of a social group have a strong intellect, happiness in their hearts and time on their hands? Art. Art that is used to … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spectacular Embroidery Art from the Patel Community of Kutch

  On all my trips to the Kutch, I have only seen 4 such saris. Motifs & Color that are similar to those from the North West Provinces – but … Continue reading

November 5, 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

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

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

WOVENSOULS | Antique Jewelry | Tribal and Ethnic

This page showcases some of the old tribal and ethnic collectible jewelry from the Wovensouls Collection. The art and the symbolism contained in tribal pieces is breathtaking. JM AUG 2013

August 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

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

DOCUMENTING THE SLOW EXTINCTION OF LAMBANI TEXTILE TRADITIONS

The tribal group known as the Lambanis have settled in South-West India and are known for their unique textile & jewelry adornments. Their traditional costumes are strong signatures and announcers … Continue reading

June 21, 2013 · 1 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

My View

There – I said it : I am RICH and here I show off my wealth: When I turned 40 I looked forward and realised that if I were to … Continue reading

April 21, 2013 · 2 Comments

Kalinga Diaries

Kalinga. Now called Odisha (Orissa). The poorest state in India financially. Yet, among the richest states culturally. Every Indian has heard of Orissa through its arts – either the dance, … Continue reading

January 28, 2013 · 5 Comments

Wovensouls makes its first sale to a Museum!

Time for celebration! Wovensouls has just made its first sale to a museum. That the buyer is a renowned museum with one of the best cultural collections in the world … Continue reading

January 12, 2013 · Leave a comment

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

Textile Artwork Curated for Esplanade Theatre, Singapore

Esplanade Theatre, Singapore has commissioned Jaina Mishra to curate a a series of Tribal Textile Artworks. These will be on display from Nov 23 – Dec 2, 2012 on the … Continue reading

October 30, 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

New Acquisitions of Kutch Textile Art in the Wovensouls Collection

The eye learns with every new exposure and becomes more discerning. Now I value the unusual form more than I did earlier.  In the world of textile art everything can … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · 2 Comments

A walk through a Rabari tribal Village

Rabari people are gypsies having their deep ancestry origins in Mount Kailash. They migrated to the Kutch via Afghanistan & Kashmir. Just a video taken as I walk about a … Continue reading

August 14, 2012 · 2 Comments

Textile Art of South East Asia at the Asian Civilsations Museum

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

July 7, 2012 · Leave a comment

Tribal Textile Art of Kutch – the Bhuj Folk Art Museum

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

July 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of Mizoram, The Lunglei Museum Collection

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

June 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Turban Art – the Crowning Glory of Indian Men

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

June 26, 2012 · 1 Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

The Amondawa Tribe, Amazon rainforest, Brazil

An article by By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent, The Telegraph (UK) “The Amondawa people who live deep in the Amazonian rainforests of Brazil have no watches or calendars and live … Continue reading

March 22, 2011

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

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

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

Beautiful People – the Eunuch community of Bombay

Eunuchs have been mentioned in the Mahabharata, in tales from the Mughal times and from ancient China. In all of these they played a role in royal and noble homes. … Continue reading

October 20, 2010 · 3 Comments

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

Textile Symbolism – 1 : Hilltribes of Northern Thailand

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

August 21, 2010 · 3 Comments

Hmong Batik Art

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

August 21, 2010 · 3 Comments

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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