Cloths

Fascination to Color their World

“Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of twisted linen, and blue and purple and scarlet…(Exodus 26:1)” These lines from Holy book “Bible” show the humans obsession for colors. Humans have been always been fascinated with color. The competitors of our forefather “homo sapiens”, prepared their dead for burial by coating their bodies with red ochre, which is actually Ferric oxide. After them, Cro-Magnon made cave paintings using for colors yellow and red iron oxides, black manganese dioxide and white clays. These are natural materials available as rocks and salts for tens of thousands of years. This continued until… Read More »Fascination to Color their World

Phulkari: Traditional Dress of Punjab

It started in Patiala state of Punjab in India. Patiala rose to prominence amongst many princely states of Punjab before independence. Phul means flowers and Kar means the work. So Phulkari literally means Flower Work on the rough heavy cotton.  Throughout the Punjab, in the Hindu,Muslim and Sikh communities alike, women embroider Odhanis (veils) or Chaddar (wraps) ornamented with Phulkar, literally “flower work” and Bagh, garden, a variation where the embroidery completely covers the support material. The support fabric is most often an auspicious dark red, or more rarely, an indigo blue or a white reserved for elderly women, on… Read More »Phulkari: Traditional Dress of Punjab

Assam Silk

Again, I am harking back to North-Eastern state of India: Assam. Still the land of mystery. I was going through imperial gazetteer of India and reading about Sibsagar, now bearing the moniker of “Sivasagar”. It was once the capital of Ahoms. They came from China to India through Eastern corridor and settled here for good. Over the time they adopted the Hindu religion. This district is very rich in natural resources. It is famous for oil fields, tea and silk sarees. There are many shops is the town selling the exquisite sarees. These shops are mostly owned by Marwari people… Read More »Assam Silk

Sanjhi: Almost forgotten Festival of North India

When we were small boys, every year ten days before the festival Dussehra, our mother would choose a small area on one of the mud walls and make a crude image of a woman, stars and moon and bullocks with the cow dung. We lived in the village. Almost everyone has some land on which agriculture was done. Also there were plenty of animals like cows and buffaloes. Houses were made of mud and walls and floors were plastered with wet cow dung. We did not understand all this and thought this as some folk art. It was called Sanjhi. Now… Read More »Sanjhi: Almost forgotten Festival of North India

Eri Silk of Assam, India

Assam and its adjoining stated in the North East of India are famous for silk. Silk was the royal attire of Tai Ahom Kings. These people came to Assam from a Chinese province through Patkai range of hills and enchanted by the beauty of the region, settled permanently and intermingled with the local people. They must have brought the silkworms with them from China. Silk is woven in the homes. It is part of economy of the state. Of many varieties Muga: the golden silk and Eri or Ahimsa silk are most famous. Eri is produced by the silkworm called… Read More »Eri Silk of Assam, India

Sibsagar in Assam

Sibsagar is a district in upper Assam. It is called Shivasagar these days. It is an important historical town in Assam. It drives its name from a huge water tank named after the Ahom King Sib Singh. Sagar means a large water body. Ahoms are not the original inhabitants of Assam. They came here from China through Patkai range of hills. Slowly from invaders, they stayed here bewitched by the beauty of the land, lush green woods and hills. During there early days they subdued local Chutia and Kachari kings. They established their capital in Rongpur which falls in this… Read More »Sibsagar in Assam