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

The Girl with the Dragon

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

May 20, 2019 · Leave a comment

A Charkha Spinning Wheel

Sighting of a decorated Charkha Spinning Wheel – used in a vanishing craft

February 3, 2019 · 1 Comment

Service or Sacrilege? The Dilemma of Textile Art Fragments

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

October 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Artwork of the Day

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

Waiting…. The Antique Shekarlu Qashqai Rug

For years I’ve eyed Shekarlu rugs. Their identity is highly evolved and very striking! Very rustic in character the rugs are filled with an extravagant number of minor motif elements … Continue reading

September 17, 2018 · 3 Comments

Book Recommendation – Bhutan Weavings

August 24, 2018 · 3 Comments

Astitva Project – August Update

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

Beauty of The Checkerboard

Checkerboards are simple forms. Not much creativity needed to create these basic geometric forms. It could even be said that checkerboard motifs are born during one’s lazier creative moments. But … Continue reading

July 28, 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

Let’s Spin Some 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 mouths engaged, their … Continue reading

June 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Nomadic Weavings of Chanthang

Seen in the Himalayas in the Chanthang desert in Eastern Ladakh.  Their living spaces Let’s gp in … To see their home & their weavings ​(videa to follow later) Volunteers: … Continue reading

May 20, 2018 · Leave a comment

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

Daily Art Fix – Painting of a Weaver – 1800s

Some art to refresh the soul!

March 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Beshir Rug with Ikat Motif

A simple little work of textile art getting its time in the morning sun! This little piece was most probably woven by Beshir nomads in Turkmenistan. With a good exchange … Continue reading

March 21, 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

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

Sunbathing in Goa

The beauties get their annual sunbath!  ❤️

January 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Bridal Sari of the erstwhile Queen of Sawantwadi 1922

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

December 27, 2017 · 6 Comments

On My Coffee Table 

The advantage of my nomadic life is that I forget tbe pieces strewn around the other spaces that I dwell in (and that dwell inside me….).  and so I see … Continue reading

December 21, 2017 · 1 Comment

Women in Art – Literally

A series of textiles with women depicted in the art! 🙂   And more   The ones above are from old textiles. Here’s one from a recently made banarasi brocade … Continue reading

September 25, 2017 · Leave a comment

“Heirlooms” – Exhibition Report

A fabulous exhibition – great reviews from the guests, stimulating conversations, free flow of adulation for the artworks and brisk movement of unforgettable pieces to new homes! If you were … Continue reading

September 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Beaded Textiles from Rajasthan?!! 

Just noticed the fabulous beadwork on a shawl from Rajasthan that I’ve had for awhile.  Endless delights in old acquisitions…   All from the WOVENSOULS collection!  ❤️

August 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Online Exhibition – Tampan Ship Cloths from Sumatra

Introduction The magnetic appeal of Textile Arts, to me, is directly proportional to – the art – the craft – the symbolism – the cultural story and – the usage … Continue reading

July 22, 2017 · 1 Comment

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

Daily Art Fix – Beaded Hilltribe Weaving

Beaded Loin Cloth More photos of Asset #163 on wovensouls.com [Premium Access Gallery] Even though I have never woven anything, it is easy to imagine the painstaking work involved in … Continue reading

January 28, 2017 · Leave a comment

Dragons and Serpents from Laos – Textile Art

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

January 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

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

One more Hybrid – A Paithani weave from Benaras

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

September 16, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Hybrid is Born

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

August 31, 2016 · 3 Comments

The Mashru Loom

My knowledge of weaving techniques is minimal – so I might be wrong in thinking that the Masru or Mashru loom is a complicated one. But the few looms that … Continue reading

July 13, 2016 · 2 Comments

Woven Leaves of Bali

In the touristy journeys from one part of Bali to another, the one art that jumps at the traveler, whether or not one is looking, is the art of basketry. … Continue reading

July 5, 2016 · 2 Comments

Banjara Textile Exhibition @ Joss Graham London

Banjara works are among the world’s most attractive textiles – the colors, the stitches the patterns and their dazzling embellishments are put together in an eye-catching manner. Almost every collector … Continue reading

June 28, 2016 · 1 Comment

Salute the Batak Textile Weaver’s Genius!

Sometimes the beauty contained within a subject is so deep and limitless that the soul is never satisfied no matter how long one beholds it. There is always one more … Continue reading

June 27, 2016 · 1 Comment

Motifs from Africa – Fulani Blanket – Available for Sale

The bad news is that we’ll NEVER feel the satisfaction of having seen it ALL. The good news is that we’ll NEVER feel the satisfaction of having seen it ALL. … Continue reading

May 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Lontar Baskets

“There is no limit to creativity” – these cliched words come alive with these palm leaf baskets that have been decorated with beads … When the first artist created this … Continue reading

May 8, 2016 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – A Sublime Tampan with an Amazing Soul!

Such an amazing work of art!!! Not painted – not embroidered but WOVEN!! More from the same fragment:     And though it is past its prime, it still is … Continue reading

April 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Motifs from Tibet

  No words.

March 27, 2016 · Leave a comment

News from the National Museum Delhi

25 Feb to 25 April 2016 About the Exhibition As richly patterned silks embellished with gold and silver threads, Banarasi Brocade Saris represent the acme of the subcontinent’s hand – … Continue reading

March 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

Superb Colors on Antique Singaraja Textile – Available for Sale

When a place is introduced through somethings produced in that region, chances are that that association lasts for a long time. When a dealer informed me that such and such … Continue reading

January 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Ceremonial Sumatra Weaving

A stunning festive weaving from pre-1900 Sumatra

December 26, 2015 · Leave a comment

Lombok Art – for the Ears & Eyes!

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

December 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Best Exotic Kuba Cloth Ever!

Another textile deserving of the title “Best”! I owned one Kuba currency cloth for awhile and have eyed many many pieces since. But none have had as much character as … Continue reading

December 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

The ASTITVA Project – Rescuing Textile Traditions – Chapter 1

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

August 3, 2015 · 9 Comments

Dowry Bags & Purses

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

July 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Story of Shadda Weavings

A link to a superb external article about an attractive textile category – Shadda flatweaves. Click Here Can imagine falling asleep totally intoxicated in its beauty using one of these … Continue reading

July 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Kinnaur Weaving

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

July 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

Worth of a Woman ….

“A female slave, skilled in embroidery is worth four oxen” – Homer, 2nd Century BCE We’ve come a long way haven’t we? Or have we? [To be fair, besides female … Continue reading

June 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Some Doors for My Future Tent

Perfect for my future tent! A set of three old tent doors / dividers / perde curtains (most likely converted from grain sacks?) from the homes of Yoruks or nomads … Continue reading

June 22, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Lore of a Kilim Rug | The Lure of a Kilim Rug

One day a Yürük tribal chief saw a kilim rug cast on the ground by a tent. Looking at it brought anguish to his heart, so he called on his … Continue reading

June 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

Daily Art Fix – Colors of Anatolia

     I have been dreaming about the border of this fragment of 2 halves of this 19th century kilim ever since I laid eyes on it!   So much … Continue reading

June 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

Textile Art of Myanmar – Weaving in SOHO

“SOHO” stands for Small Office, Home Office. It is a hybrid apartment for residential and commercial purposes and allows people to work and live in the same house. Although popularised … Continue reading

February 10, 2015 · 1 Comment

A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei

Most are now woven on power looms but a few are still made on back-strap looms.A Glimpse of Stunning Mizo Textiles – The Puanchei The Puanchei: The Puan is the … Continue reading

January 26, 2015 · 4 Comments

An Artwork A Day – Anatolyan Cicim Tent Divider

A question mark rug textile… any insights or clues?

November 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

AN ARTWORK A DAY – Antique Vietnam Beaded Weaving

Antique Vietnam Sapa Beaded Woven Textile Skirt

October 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Embellishments in Traditional Asian Textiles

Strange & interesting bits and pieces have been used as textile embellishments. In the decade of collecting textiles, I find that non-textile embellishments are most common in South Asian Hilltribes … Continue reading

October 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

AN ARTWORK A DAY – Antique Vietnam Beaded Weaving

Antique Vietnam Sapa Beaded Woven Textile Skirt

September 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Artists of the Loom – Traditional Weavers of the world

Creating works of Art with their hands using thread, a loom and a bit of their souls. Many of the images are from WOVENSOULS.com and many are from other websites. … Continue reading

August 1, 2014 · 3 Comments

Hand Looms, Foot Looms and more

Many of the textile enthusiasts that I know, enjoy understanding the technicalities that go into the creation of the art. The loom type, the weave type, the knot structure etc … Continue reading

May 3, 2014 · 6 Comments

Traditional Textiles of South India

A museum is a visual & experiential library.  A museum presents a culture through its various arts.  A visit is always an eye-opener and we find out things that we … Continue reading

January 20, 2014 · 5 Comments

Mystical Gold Ornaments from the past

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

November 19, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Enigmatic Ceremonial Weavings from Sumatra

The beginning of my latest article published on Jozan.net: 1. INTRODUCTION Weaving of ceremonial cloths ceased in Lampung, Sumatra at the end of the 19th century. This phenomenon of the … Continue reading

November 9, 2013 · 4 Comments

INTRICATE WOVEN ART OF BHUTAN

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

November 4, 2013 · 2 Comments

Rooband – The Tadjik Veil

What a fantastic word to describe the veil ROOH = Spirit or Soul BAND = Shut or closed For it is the the soul that must be captured, it is … Continue reading

October 18, 2013 · Leave a comment

Antique Dragon Textile from Laos

Finely woven Dragon textile from Laos. From the ‘South East Asia’ Textiles gallery of the Wovensouls Collection circa 1930 jm Oct 2013

October 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

A Gorgeous Tampan Ship Cloth from Sumatra

A textile full of soul! From the Kota Agung region, Sumatra. Pre 1900s. A rare design in Tampans featuring a colonial Dutch ship and the associated ancestral tree. Note the … Continue reading

October 11, 2013 · 2 Comments

ANTIQUE CEREMONIAL CLOTH FROM SUMATRA

An old ancestral textile – circa 1850 – 1900 – a Tatibin – has now joined he WOVENSOULS collection. Time to celebrate! jm Oct 2013

October 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Nomadic Weaving Wonders

When I first stepped into the world of textiles, I was enticed by the art that needed the heavy support of the craft. The more pieces I saw from various … Continue reading

August 16, 2013 · 3 Comments

Grace of a Ryukyu Weaver, Okinawa

Another shore excursion, another learning experience. A lesson in grace, a lesson in technique from the legacy of the Ryukyu Kingdom,  Okinawa, Japan The Weaving Process: jm Aug 2013  

August 10, 2013 · 2 Comments

Antique Prayer Rugs

On the occasion of Ramzan Id, a day on which I have enjoyed Biryani and Sewaiyan from the homes of my neighbours and friends growing up in Mumbai – a … Continue reading

August 9, 2013 · 5 Comments

Tampan – the bewitching extinct weaving of Lampung

 Weaving ceased in Lampung at the end of the 19th century. Ceased. Extinct. Forever. This fact would be tragic even if we were speaking of some other geography. But once … Continue reading

February 10, 2013 · 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

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

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

September 2, 2012 · 2 Comments

Textile Art of South East Asia at the Asian Civilsations Museum

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

July 7, 2012 · Leave a comment

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

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

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

Cambodian Ikat Weaves

From the textiles of Angkor Wat we move to the 19th century where we find documentation by colonial rulers about Khmer textiles. Fourteen religious paintings on cotton cloth, suspended vertically … Continue reading

February 4, 2012 · 1 Comment

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

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 learn … Continue reading

September 15, 2011 · 6 Comments

Exquisite Vintage Kebayas – the costume of the Peranakan culture

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

April 21, 2011

Conserving antique textiles

Antique textiles, as most textile collectors know, have inherent in them the twin problems of conservation and non-invasive display. Objects that are investments of finances as well as passions, are … Continue reading

April 7, 2011

Yak Horn textile adornments, Sikkim

Yaks must be much loved creatures since their owners – the Dokpas – who adorn them so fashionably! The behavior of yaks is best described in Heinrich Harrer’s book ‘Seven … Continue reading

March 20, 2011

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

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

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

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