Thursday, July 21, 2011

Honnavar trip

A write up from the student participant Phagun Bhatla 

from Srishti School Of Art and Design who visited  Honnavar from buDa folklore .

We reached Honnavar around 6.30 in the morning. We went to the Folklore Study Centre where we were placed . We then discussed our focus points, as to who will focus mainly on which area of research. At around 10 am an old lady called Hanumi came. She was a crafts woman and was good at an art called "Shedi Kale". It is done with maximum 4 colours (white,red, yellow and black) all of which are obtained naturally. The brush is made by beetle nut with 3 or 4 teeth. It consists of 14 motifs each having its own meaning. This kind of art is done during festivals, weddings. Hanumi showed us some motifs and then she depicted her life through the art. In the evening we went to Marvinkurve Island and visited the Gowda Community(Hanumi's Community) there. They had a big house with 14 people living under the same roof. Their source of income was from selling the mats they make with grass. Around 100 mats are sold in a year at Rs. 60-Rs. 70 which is not enough for them. So the younger ones who are more interested in jobs work in other people's houses to earn a livelihood. They taught each one of us how to weave a mat. Initially weaving it was difficult and confusing, but gradually we became aware of the technique.

Early in the morning we went to Salvador Mane(island) which was resident to the Fishermen Community. The Portuguese settled here who have now converted into Christians. Their main work is to make ropes. The ropes are made of coconut husks which are decayed in water for a minimum period of 9 months. After which the husk becomes soft and is easy to remove from the coconut. The husk is then beaten to make it smooth and is put on the machine to make the rope. If the coconuts are not decayed for 9 months the husk is green and hard and has a foul smell. By digging a stick, they have a record of where the coconuts are decayed. This process continues throughout the year. Later that day, in the afternoon we again went to the Marvinkurve Island to visit the people of Gowda Community. All the houses in that area have a particular structure with pavements and tulsi plants outside the houses, kitchens on the right(usually at the backside of the house) and attics.

In the evening 2 women from the Halakki Tribes called Sukri and Nubli came where we staying. They introduced us with their culture, rituals and the daily life routine. They have a unique style of wearing their sarees without their blouses. Heavy jewellery covers their neck. The jewellery is passed on from the mother to her daughter, and if she doesn't want it, it is donated in Tirupathi. Singing and dancing are their main hobbies. They have songs for every little thing or situation from their daily lives. A while later, we asked them to pick any of us and ask whatever they wanted to. Also some of us dressed as the Halakki women and danced with them. They also showed us how to make the thread from the cactus leaves. It was a very informative interaction.

We went to Duggur which is the residence of the Honnavar Halakki Tribes. It is a forest area with mud houses which have low roofs. We couldn't meet many people as all of them were out on the farms for work. We visited like 5-6 houses in that area most of which were made of mud. We visited a house where we saw Suggi dance. The males of that house used to play on the pots and sing for hours and hours. We also sang and danced with them. It was a wonderful experience.

This was the last day of our trip so we decided just to chill around. So we to a nearby beach. I was really excited as this was my first visit to a beach. It was not a commercial beach so it was only us on the beach. It was raining heavily and all of us were on happily playing on the beach. So on the last day we had fun and relaxed as we the bus to catch the same night.

honnavar -study trip

Project Brief with buDa folklore 

A student participant jaspreet matharu who visited Honnavar from srishti school of art and design Bangalore 

The final brochure design


Folk forms ..motifs..and images...

When in every form there is the hint 
of the formless
and in every movement there is a
message of stillness
when in every finite space there is the 
quest of the infinite
when a form takes us from the 
temporal to the eternal
it is then that akriti leads to sanskriti
that is beautifully Indian

speaking tree--July 10 2011

The beautiful is not just an adornment .It is a visual prayer and is crucial to our being ...
In them resides knowledge,an ancient memory.. a beautiful energy..

In them are bodily rhythems of trackless genarations..from their movement will arise metaphors and motifs passed down from mother to daughter and above all in these hands is the living and pulsating desire to create a beautiful shaps and motifs.

We will loose ourselves in their patterns and textures, their forms and shapes their simplicity in complexity and in them we will hear hushed sounds of moving fingers and we will discover hidden truths about life and living

these artistic creations are archetypal symbols of human consciousness.

They have come down to us mother to daughter through trackless centuries and although they are created by individuals they have the power and the pedigree of the entire tradition behind them

Many of these representations of everyday art  wiped away and then made again..

The wooden human size figures made from the forest wood and left under a tree to decompose and from the same decomposed soil another forest was born ..they are the reminders of the cosmic drama of creation, destruction and renual and both by their presence and their proses these beautiful forms become silent messengers of deep and abiding metaphysicl and religious insights

Content  curtsy : The Times of  India -the speaking tree July 10 2011

Trip to Honnavar

A write up from the student participant Kriti Kamotra 

from Srishti School Of Art and Design who visited Honnavar .
The four day trip to Honnavar was an unforgettable experience.
The small place Honnavar is surrounded with many small islands.
Each island having different tribes and cultures.
It is situated in the west coast of Karnataka.
It has a very diverse and rich culture.

1st Day

 We started our day with the typical food and specialties like "kotte rotti"
(idlis prepared in the jack fruit leaf).
We saw the local artist Hanumi (from the gomakkul community) working
 on her paintings called "shedi kale"
 which is done by special brushes made out of betelnut's shell.
They colors used are made naturally with laterite stones etc.

We visited "Mavinkurve" one of the islands, where we learnt
the art of making grass mats and also tried making it ourselves.
We tried many herbal local drinks.
(There are more than 60 herbal drinks made there)

2nd Day

We visited another island and visited Salvador mane.
We observed that here there was a lot of influence of christanity.
The main occupation of most of the people here is making choir.
The decay the coconut husk in the soil under water for min 9months.
 after that it is dug out, peel apart, and beaten with a wooden tool to fiber.
 Further it was made in to a rope.

We again visited Mavinkurve where we went to a
different part of it this time.
We came across many shops still using the old heavy locks,
we met few more people.
We came across a lady who sang for us,
 told us about different songs they sing in different occasions,
different attire, sarees, jewellery etc.

In the evening we met women from Halakki tribe, Sukri and Nugli.
These women have still kept their culture of wearing many strings around their neck,
 wearing the typical styled saree etc.
We saw them dancing, singing, and had a chat with them about their different culture,
attire, occasions etc.

3rd Day

We went to visit the Honnavar Halakki tribe.We could see 
any differences between  the Ankola Halakki tribe and
the Honnava Halakki tribe. 
In the way they dress their general attitude etc.

4th Day

We had got all the materials and information we wanted,
we finished of with whatever we needed more. 
And at the end we relaxed at the beach!

Making a quilt – the traditional way

This write up is from one of the participants Carol who participated in 3days Quilting work shop in Bangalore organised by buDa folklore.

No rotary cutters. No rulers. No ironing. Nirmala akka’s method of quilting makes use of what is freely available to her. Her hands, needles, thread, and lots of cloth. Don’t be deceived though… this method takes work and  if you’re a beginner at this be sure you’ll come away with blisters and aching fingers.

Lots of beautiful silks used here by Poornima
For the workshop we worked on a 24X24 inch mini-quilt. We were asked to bring a cotton sari ordupatta with a border, a metre of plain white cloth, colorful scraps for the top, and, an old sari or dupattafor the batting (inside layers). You can use all cotton fabrics or mix them up. Nirmala akka uses all kinds of fabrics in her quilts and they turn out just beautifully. A couple of the participants had gorgeous silks and their quilts were striking. Silk is harder to work with, especially if you’re starting off, but hey, what’s wrong with a little ambition?
This one is Chandini's. Lovely fabrics.
We began by separating the border from the sari cutting an inch away from the inside of the border. Our teacher only uses scissors to nip the cloth and then tears it. This is a fun and fast way to do it and can be quite therapeutic. Then we measured the fabric for the back with a tape measure providing an allowance of an inch. The inside layers were measured  to the same size as the back. The thickness is up to the preference of the quilter. We used about three to four layers for our quilts but be warned that the thicker the quilt is the harder your fingers have to work. 

The back of the quilt is laid on the floor and the inside layers on top of it so the inside faces the quilter. Akka taught us how to use our feet to give us a better grip when we sew. First the border is attached with short running stitches. Akka’s stitches look like they’re straight out of a machine. They are equal in size and equidistant from each other and the lines all run straight. This will come only with practice. After all she’s been doing this for 20 years now. 
This was a smaller piece that one of the participants started. But you see how the border gets sewn first.
Once the border is done the patches are attached. Akka uses white for the four corners of the quilt where she does her motifs. So we cut out four squares of the same size from the white cloth and attached the first one to one of the corners. This is done by folding in about half an inch of two sides of the patches and starting the line of running stitches on the patch. Another patch of color is added when you come to the end of the white patch and the running stitch goes on. Each time the patch is added a back stitch is taken to secure the patch.

Once we went all round the quilt we had to begin with the motifs. The motifs need to be thought of earlier on as the entire quilt is sewed inwards in lines that go round the quilt – like concentric squares. So on each line a part of the motif is brought in. You need to remember that a certain piece of cloth needs to appear on the opposite corner when you get there. We decided to stick with the easy ones. Some of us made corners and kites and others tried their hands at a turtle. All turned out beautifully under the watchful eye of akka.
That's how the corner motif starts out.
You can have as many of the corner lines as you like. This is Meena's quilt.  

This is mid-way with the addition of a kite. 
When we were done with stitching the motifs and covered the first round of patches with stitches we moved on to the inner square. Here too we followed the same method of attaching the patches but now we could run the stitches from the left to right instead of going round the quilt. Here we needed to keep an eye on the balance of the rows of stitches.
The first row of patches with the motifs being sewn as we move inwards.
Coming to the center of the quilt and adding more patches.
In this manner we come to the centre of the quilt and here akka has a beautiful way of finishing off the quilt. She says that traditionally when you finish a quilt it is like closing the mouth of the quilt. The quilt has life and must not be hungry. So they always put in a little cooked food – rice or roti – anything to feed the quilt. She also said that if a pregnant woman is making a quilt she should not finish it. Somebody else must or her womb will be closed as well.
Feeding the quilt with rice.

So we fed our quilts too and the finishing stitches were added. And we returned, with new friends, new skills, and much joy and pride with our very own handmade, traditional, mini-quilts. 
All done! :)
This post can also be found on Savita's blog buDa folklore. (When she puts it up) Savita organized the workshop and very generously opened her home to us for four days. 


Leanne said...
Thank you for posting this tutorial. The process looks like fun to do and the quilt is very lovely.
Carol said...
You're welcome though I must say it's not quite a tutorial. I began to write it like one but it was just way to complicated. There's so many little things that need to be done with the stitches and the folding... so I just made it a general post on the method. Still... glad you enjoyed it. :)
LynCC said...
This was absolutely fascinating. Thank you for sharing the experience! The process is intriguing and I'd never heard about feeding a quilt. Love the folklore!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Folk Art- Hase Chittara

Hase chitra  or hase chittara  is a folk art practiced by the Deewaru community in Shimoga, Sagara   and Uttara kannada district of Karnataka.

The walls are colored with red mud found abundantly in the region and designs are drawn in white paint derived from rice paste and white mud.
The lines and patterns on these paintings each symbolize an aspect of nature or depict the religious, social agricultural practices of the community. The drawing has been seen on the walls, doorframes, and doorsteps in the villages of malenadu region.

Materials used
The materials used for this art is natural .The community makes its own colours  deriving from natural sources such as bark of trees, wild Barrie, seeds, rocks, minerals, and vegetables. Kemmannu (red earth), akki hittu (rice flour), masi kenda (coal), kaare kai (one kind of berry), guragekaai (which gives yellow colour) hittu, Sunna (lime stone), turmaric, milk etc has been used to prepare white,black,red and yellow natural colors.

 While the designs on the paintings are common across the entire community the paintings are divided in to three types according to the use of colours. They are bili hase, kappu hase, kemmannu hase.
The drawing has been seen on the walls ,door frames,and window frames. It can also been done on Bamboo basket .Genarally the base is Kemmannu(red earth)While dwcorating the bamboo basket the base has been prepared by applying the mixture of red earth and cow dung,

To draw the lines the community use a natural brush made by grass straw and a natural fiber  .Now the artists who learnt this art from the community uses paiting brush and artificial colours .
The original brush:
Our artisan Kanne from Siddapura,Uttara kannada uses this hand made natural  brush which is considered the original way of painting in this community .

 They use straw and a natural fiber to make brush. The fiber will be inserted in the straw and tie a knot to keep it on place.

  One needs a lot of patience to draw these lines. Women have mostly done this art.

This art takes place in marriages and festivals (bhoomi hunnime habba).In bhoomi hunnime festival women decorate the bamboo baskets with this art. The base has been prepared by applying the mixture of red earth (kemmannu)and cowdung on the basket. They draw hase chitra by using finely grounded riceflour on this basket.

The common motifs are seete mudi,bhattada saalu, kuchhu saalu,maduve pallakki,dibbana hakkigalu, ettugalu,tirugu mane,gombe saalu,banave etc which has been taken from daily life .
In the marriage ceremony Hase chitra is drawn on the wall where the ritual takes place


The common motifs in the marriage are 

pallakki(carriage).dibbana hakkigalu(twin birds/love birds),

bride and bridegroom etc. 

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