Kathawork from Bengal

At the other end of the spectrum of the desert stretches is located the lush green paddy fields and coconut groves of Bengal in Eastern India bordering Bangaladesh. As a tribute to nature's lushness Bengalis strive towards the sublime. Here's a culture made up of a rich tapestry of intellectual and political consciousness with a decided leaning towards "simple living, high thinking." Metaphorically this has translated itself into a clothing, mainly saris, that comes in subtle weaves on light colour fabric. This is 'Kantha work' on off-white with small spots of embroidered colours.

A handwoven embroidered wall hanging from Kutch


A 'Godri' from Rajesthan

In a swing back to western India and its compelling starkness, we present this 'Godhadi' which is usually a hand-made blanket. This one is a combination of woven thread as its backdrop overlay in patches of appliqué work.





A banjara lady from rajeshtan

Here is a 'banjara' (gypsy woman) from the Rajasthan desert of North western India. The endless stretches of sands make the enormity of the desert starkness. What we can have here is the veil known as the 'Odhni' which almost bears itself down under the combined weight of the embroidered bead, glass and thread work. Even the weight of the veil seems rich with purpose in a land that shields its women behind 'Purdah'(which literally means a curtain but which figuratively represents a world from the outside with in which women must reside) However the Banjaras are relatively free of such norms and live a life dotted with the wildest of reds, yellows, greens, blues and blacks. While on men these colours appear on their turbans, on women these find place on their 'Ghagraas &Cholis' (long skirt and blouse respectively) The red and black material in white spots draped around her has come out of a printing technique known as 'Bandhani' typical o Rajasthan and uses vegetable dyes in the brightest of hues.

Colour in Artefacts
Colour in arts
Performing arts