Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Living Fabric: Weaving Among The Nomads Of Ladakh Himalaya
This is the first study of the tradition of weaving among the nomadic pastoralists of Rupshu, in eastern Ladakh. Weaving touches all aspects of life in Rupshu, where both women and men weave, each on a different type of loom. Local narrative states that the craft of weaving was bestowed upon Rupshu by the gods, and thus all feats related to it have a close connection to the sublime. This book documents and analyses the ways in which fibers, weaving, and textiles are symbolized, constructed, and experienced in Rupshu where themes such as gender, kinship, hierarchical and spatial relations find ready expression through the design and making of cloth. Through her work the author traces the relationship between livestock, weaving, social and symbolic structures in order to understand the multitude of contexts within which wool-oriented activities exist. Richly illustrated, this book will appeal to those with an interest in textiles, nomads, gender studies, and the Himalaya.
About the Author
Monisha Ahmed has been visiting and writing about the Himalayan region of Ladakh since 1987. She is co-founder of the Ladakh Arts and Multi-cultural Outreach Trust, a non-government organization that works with the arts in Ladakh and is in the process of establishing a locally based arts resource center in Leh.