Sacred Textiles of India
Fabrics play a vital role in the ceremonies that mark every stage of religious, cultural and social life in India. Traditionally, the creation of a textile is considered an act of worship, and the wearing of sacred cloths is an important rite of passage. The book begins with an overview of the ritual importance of textiles through the major religions of India and an exploration of ikat, the “magical” textile common to many cultures of the world. Subsequent articles present pioneering research on the Islamic and Buddhist textiles of Ladakh; the ritual garments of the Parsi Zoroastrians; the representation of sacred trees in the kanthas of Bengal; the Hindu, Islamic and Christian traditions of Goa; and the significance of the torans of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The final chapter studies the fabrics imported from India which are indispensable in the ceremonies of the Kalabari of Nigeria. This range of unusual themes presented by textile experts and designers is a first step in presenting some of the unique sacred textile traditions of India, while recognizing that innumerable others await study and documentation.Jasleen Dhamija is internationally renowned in the field of textiles. She has done pioneering research in the handicraft and handloom industry and has worked with the UN, and as consultant to the World Bank. She has curated exhibitions, organized seminars and authored/edited books and articles for various publications including Marg.
CONTENTSIntroductionJasleen DhamijaRitual Textiles and the Cult of IkatJasleen DhamijaDuguma’s Legacy: Sacred Textiles in LadakhMonisha AhmedSacred Armour: Ritual Garments of the Parsi ZoroastriansShernaz Cama and Ashdeen Z. LilaowalaThe Depiction of Sacred Trees on the Kanthas of BengalPaola ManfrediTouched by Gods and Saints: Goa’s Sacred Textiles and VestmentsWendell RodricksThe Torans of Gujarat and Rajasthan: Meanings and OriginsVictoria Z. RiversThe Sacred Use of Indian Textiles by the Kalabari of NigeriaJoanne B. EicherIndexContributors