The Registry Of Sarees Research Journal — cotton RSS


CURIOSITY CABINETS


   Fig 1. Marcel Duchamp, Box in Valise, (1935-41)  In 1822, An Englishwoman named Fanny Parkes followed her husband  Charles Crawford Parkes to India. Charles, an employee of the East India Company was stationed as a collector of customs at Allahabad. While he was occupied with work, Fanny busied her days by learning Hindi, horse riding and occasionally mingling with Indian women in the Zenana. Just as she was beginning to settle down, her husband was posted to Kanpur (‘Cawnpore’ in those days) which was a rather dull environment compared to what she was used to. So she took to travelling on her own and exploring India. Everywhere  she went, she documented her travels that later were published into a...

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Habitat


    Figure 1: Podaegi- Korean Sling.  For many women, the option of leaving their babies at home to be taken care of does not exist. To make ends meet she must step out to work and carry her baby along with her. Strapped to her back, the baby sling gives her hands and body enough space to do her work and at the same time to tend to her child every once in a while.   The cloth used to strap babies onto the parent is considered sacred in many cultures found in Indonesia, China, Peru and India among other countries.  The size, material, colour, motifs wish the baby a prosperous life and act as a protective charm as...

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MOTIFS IN PAIRS- AN ODE TO PARSI PAIRS


                                      Figure 1- A Pair of Magpies   The practice of love for a community takes shape in the most intimate of ways – conjugality. Yet, the intimacy is dictated by the needs of society. A  heterosexual couples’ ability to procreate, places them as one of the foundations of society. Love, in a conjugal relationship need not necessarily centre itself around romance. Love plays out in the steps they take together; being responsible for each other, setting up a home together and preparing for the next generation.  Dwindling communities like the Parsis have been actively trying to keep their legacy alive by...

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LETTERS FROM CHIKANKARI


    Figure 1 - Chikankari Garment  Ganjefa: The Game of Cards is a story written by Naiyer Masud and Deepa Zafir. The story traces the narrator’s (a man) interactions  with his mother and  the people of Lucknow. With the passing of his father, the protagonist makes his way homeward to settle in with his mother. Set in the midst of riots and hardship, the protagonist narrates his mother’s plight and ailing health. Being the breadwinner of the family she struggles day and night, squinting her eyes as she works the needle and thread doing chikankari. Realising that her health is deteriorating she asks her son to call a woman named Husna to come to her aid. He runs through...

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Thorthu, Kerala Thorthu


Thorthu, Kerala Thorthu The ‘u’ not to be pronounced as thor-thoo, but like ‘ue’ of Prague. Thorth.   For someone from a tropical land, cotton is undoubtedly a part and parcel of one's daily life. And for someone especially from Kerala, from a textile perspective, our most prized possessions - the most ordinary and extraordinary is cotton and with 'kara' (bands) - both revered greatly - the saree or mundu and the 'thorthu'. While the Kerala saree and mundu and mundum neriyathum get everyone's attention as Kerala’s main textiles, the thorthu humbly takes a backseat, enjoying it all hanging on the clothesline, under the sun; slowly swaying in the wind with no complaints. The thorthu, in reality, is perhaps bought...

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