Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our Master Artisans-Hanmi

Hanmi  -a talented creative master artisan

 Hanmi is from the bank of the river Sharavathi .Her crativty in art and crft closely connected with the land and the nature where she lived
She is a master  in oral  folk literature of Ramayan and Mahabharata, She is master in folk art and other craft skills like mat weaving, making containers and pot holders.Her skills extended in making torans with paddy shoots ,For her art work  she makes her brush and prepares her colours from the nature .

If the unexplored.. untouched..   dying folkart called ShediKale is still surviving  it is  because of  Hanmi  This ritualsitic art has no place in their community because the rituals are not in practice . Now it is  surviving as an art form  in Hanmi,s crafty hand because she  values it  . (Pl see the article Shedikale in this blog)

Hanmis a visiting artisan . a resource person an art professor at buda folklore research center. Students call her hanmkka and she is fun,affectionate ,  and  a very strict teacher.

mat weaving with Shibumi ,Bangalore students

With Srishti School of Fashion.Design and 

At The  Valley School,(K.F.I.)Bangalore

With Karnataka university students

Since 4 years more then 900 students interacted with hanmi and she is one of the main resourse person at our Folklore Center .

Her craft skills not only in the folkart but she is a matweaver and she makes beautiful  mats and catainers with the river reeds from Sharavathi river bank.,She makes pot holders with paddy hay which is also a dying skill as people stopped using earthen pots

Her paddy Torans (Door hangings) are great expressions of her creativity and her  intigarated weaving pattern

Recognized and honored..

 Folklore Research center documented her Tribal Ranmayana and Mahabharata and other oral literature which would have been lost otherwise.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Herb Garden Project

This is to invite you to enrol for a rare and unique workshop/Project for schools and colleges on  a Herb Garden  and Wealth from Weeds.

In a time when unseen by our very own eyes, pesticides find their way into our bodies through food we eat, an inevitable cycle of unhealthy consumption and resultant ailments begins. Have we traded our health and that of our children to the convenience of readymade, processed, and often junk food? It is with a will to find and share simple inexpensive solutions to this problem, that we have devised a workshop for our children

The workshop will be conducted using hands on experience to learn and keep alive a dying knowledge system.

Would you like to be part of the problem or the solution?
Would you like to equip yourself with natural and easy ways to better health?
Would you like to truly enrich your children’s lives?

If yes is your answer to any or all of the above, then this workshop is for you.

What is special about this workshop    ;

This workshop will  focus on the practical aspects So that we get a first hand experience with earth ,soil and connecting with the surrounding field
This workshop  not only hilighting the desi herbs but  its a combination of local wisdom and western herbs .So that children find it more applicable and useful and interesting when and they are able to connect with this herbs.
Its a total understanding of identifying herbs ,designing and  creating a herb garden and at the end of the workshop  actually  preparing food and refreshing drinks using this herbs
.Its an ongoing project which involves  cultivation, harvesting,  drying of  these herbs and storage of the herbs and effective use of this herbs.
This workshop will will take its own shape  according to the   involvement, interest,and creativity  of the group. Please remember that its not an activity . Before you join please make sure you are committed and ready to give time  every day with what you created and what you learnt .The workshop will gets its credit when you apply these learnings  in yourdaily life.

The course involve 3 kind of herbs

  • Medicinal Herbs-
  • Culinary herbs-
  • Desi(Native) herbs and greens /local wisdom (Including weeds which has medicinal and food value )

  • Plant identification (including weeds which has got medicinal and food value)
  • Herbariam /scrape book 
  • Slide presentation
  • Field visits
  • Foraging (depending on the surrounding  field)
  • Designing and preparing  a Herb Garden 
  • Naming the herbs 
  • Preparing a herb-guide handbook with recipies and home remedies 
  • Cooking and preparing refreshing drinks from the herb

 About Native herbs and greens
This area is iam particularly interested and keen to pass on the native knowledge to the future generations .I don't wnt to miss out this aspect in my herb garden project.

Our  urban, suburban and rural ecosystems are loaded with unnoticed wild foods and herbs. Overlooked as "weeds," these are the same shoots, greens, roots, fruits, berries and flowers that nourished and healed our ancestors for centuries. We  can gradually learn to recognize them, harvest them ecologically and safely, and have fun using them to improve our meals and health.

Nature provides us food and medicine . Explore  vacant plots  and uncultivated areas in early spring, learn what they have to offer, and you'll come back with an abundance of greens which has medicinal and food value) at the height of their goodness.

Plant identification (including weeds which has got medicinal and food value)

Very few of us are familiar with common wild plants, their identification, natural history, food and medicinal uses, or the folklore associated with them. Because we live in an age when environmental issues are crucial, we must do more than provide our children with textbook information if we expect them to understand and appreciate the natural world and to play a responsible role in conservation.

                                   Students identifying the desi  herbs  in the field visits.-Shibumi School

 About Foraging:

Pesticides, Hybrid Seeds, imported grass, chemical fertilisers, decorative imported plants which just sit there
for years without flowers or fruits contrast with safe, flavourful, native, nutritious produce for our Kitchens.

I’d like to offer the students a powerful tool for changing attitudes and hearts: The earth is overflowing with common, renewable plant species that people have been gathering for centuries — medicinal herbs, greens, shoots, fruits, berries, roots, and seeds, We are going to  foraging for our meal in this workshop..

When I asked the traditional forager what  she was collecting I was amazed to see the green wealth growing allover .I joined her and  came home with a bag full of ganke soppu and anne soppu . In the market what we  see is  commercial green veggies  were laden with preservatives, this was my first opportunity to experiment with this exotic food, and  leaf recipe I came up with was a complete success.

So common and prolific that they’re denigrated as “weeds,” these wild foods are fun to collect and use — and they’re excellent vehicles for getting kids interested in nature, the environment, and the science that explains it all.

The Valley School,Bangalore
Children enjoy this activity . identifying the edible greens in the wild then collecting and preparing a green meal is  part of the project.

                                                               Shibumi school,Bangalore
                                            Designing and preparing  a Herb Garden

studying medicinal herbs-Folklore Research center Honnavar,-

preparing refreshing drinks from herbs -lemon grass tambuli
buDafolklore Research Center-Honnavar

Preparing salad using  herbs from school herb garden

-Shibumi school,Bangalore
                                                                                 Shibumi school ,bangalore
                                    Cooking and preparing refreshing drinks from the herb

Thanks to The Valley School,Bangalore,ShibumiSchool,Bangalore,
Lata,Sharad,Shalini, Apoorva and- the participants of my first herb Garden project Ankit, Yanik, Sanjay, Ravi, Varun and Rajat.

Traditional Baskets and other weaving crafts with natural fibers in Uttara Kannada-western Ghat region

  While  weaving craft with natural fibers  is one of the widest spread crafts in the history of any human civilization, it is hard to say j...