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Basketful of variety

Weavers' imagination finds expression in a range of products on display at DakshinaChitra



Cane creations At the exhibition

The week-long basket weaving exhibition at DakshinaChitra, which concludes today, showcases the wares of South India. Featuring a variety of crafts differing in material, shape, place of origin and function, the exhibition represents an important component of the cultural centre.

One of the most understated crafts in India, weaving is also one of the oldest. From the more humble baskets, winnows and strainers to the more elaborate suitcases, purses and jewellery chests, the designs seemed limited only by the imagination of the weaver.


The exhibits displayed different types of weaving such as check, twill, twine and coiling, and included a map of the distribution of such types of weaving in India. There were also maps depicting the distribution of materials used to weave such as bamboo, straw, cane and palm leaves.

To complement the weaving exhibition, DakshinaChitra also invited weavers to demonstrate the process over the weekend. Three sisters made flower baskets and bamboo mats. Weaving since they were as young as 10, they spoke about their craft plainly, oblivious to its beauty. Reluctant for their children to pick up the craft, weaving remains a means to survive. The lack of profitability of such a craft could mean that this ancient Indian art will slowly die out.

EDWINA SHADDICK

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