Conference: Narratives in Indian Textiles

Mantles of Myth – Narratives in Indian Textiles
December 13-15, 2008

The website for this event says (edited for length):

“This event attempts to understand, explore and discover Indian literature through studying textiles. They are focusing on myths and stories that have been transformed into oral traditions, bards, songs, rituals, creative techniques/ skills/ works, performing arts and textiles. Indian textile style has evolved with the development of civilization and its significance is hallowed by traditions. According to the Rig Veda and the Upanishads, the universe is a continuous fabric with a grid pattern upon which cycles of life are painted. In the Atharva Veda, day and night are said to spread light and darkness over the earth as weavers throw a shuttle on the loom. Textiles with narratives are seen across the country and their range varies from painted and printed textiles to woven and embroidered pieces. These textiles tell us multiple stories and represent myths sacred to indigenous communities across the country. Many have religious and ritual value in the cultures they come from whereas others are folk and tribal textiles that carry narratives of their origins and legends of their ancestors and gods. These textiles remind us of the riches of material culture in traditional communities and the wealth of accumulated knowledge which is generally ignored. They augment the existing rich verbal and oral literary traditions that record and map cultures. An understanding of the real India is possible only by fathoming its multiple histories in myriad tongues and forms.”

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