Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Making of ther broom-local craft

Here at Angadibail forest  we had our sessions with Banglore Steiner  School  not only to make functional and beautiful brooms but also to bring back the broom making tradition. 
you can see some of these steps in action!-a personalised experience
A simple craft of broom making 

Imagine a field full of wild-flowers, white heads popping out of the green, inviting you to come and lie down amidst all that beauty. 

Well, Seetakka brought us here for a task ...she wanted us to focus and start the work ...She came as a teacher to teach us how to make brooms out of this grass ..  
If you want to make a designer broom there will be no lying down. You need to get to work and pull out the long stalks/grass with the white heads to make the brooms locally called “hittumbe hidi”.-she called us right there .

Sitakka - our broom teacher showed us the best patches to harvest the stalks.
You'll find the longer (better) grasses in the damper places. They're also easier to pull out than the more dried ones.

She showed us a technique for even this simple task of grass pulling- you turn your palm upwards, slide your fingers into the stalks, let the heads get caught in the gaps at the base of your fingers and then pull upwards.

The next part of the task is to clean or remove the loose grasses off the ends called hokkalu . when you are pulling the main grass hokkalu is attached to it . Hokkalu meaning navel. this is the part of the stalk you disconnect from the rest of the plant.

Harvesting  these wild grass with a beautiful flower was so much fun ..We posed...  We smiled ...we held the big bunch of flowers close to us so that no one take it ..They were looking so beautiful! 

We smiled . ....we posed again....  we felt like we were preparing a bouquet for someone's wedding in the forest ....

 Suddenly our broom instructor gave us a shock. She explained the next step..and asked us to  pinch off the white tip -the flower- named after another body part, the head or “burude !! Such a sad thing to do ...:(((..Shaan was not at all pleased with this 

Once you have collected a big enough bunch you pinch off the white tip..

Such a painful task to remove the head 

It was getting dark ... So we decided to go home and do the task

Before beheading the grass we thought we take a photo of these beautiful flowers

. Once beheaded, we spread our bunch of stalks out in the sun to dry a few days.

When we met Sitakka after 3-4 days of drying, we took along a string/jute rope /suthli each with our bunch of grass . Your rope must be tied one side and then a loop made in the rope at one end and then the other end tied up tightly so you can work comfortably one it. 

Then starts the knotting/wrapping of the grass stalks. It is a fairly simple process, taking two stalks at a time and wrapping them around the previous two.

Despite its simplicity it does requires some application to get the weave tight enough and neat enough.

Sitakka inspects our work offering demonstration and corrections as needed, “do it neatly”, “make the end shorter”, “do it tighter”. 
It seems more involved and tedious than it the intermediate “grass skirt” result seems to merit. And we need to make it long enough.

Wow! It was quite beautiful. The dried grass gave it a goldish sheen and the spiralled top a majestic finish. Even if your length of grass is a bit shorter, you can still make yourself a slimmer broom like some of us did! "Chanda...chanda..."-Seetakka admired our brooms ...

-With Neesha Norohna

Monday, March 21, 2016

....and something beautiful remains .....

 This time trekking  along the beach for 4 days from Honnavar to Gokarna with a large group of students  from Sahyadri School  took me into  a different stroll.

The sunset ..the seashells ..the seagulls ..the starfish emerging from the sand ...the moon setting in the sea did not fascinate me ..

The children walked past  but I decided to stay behind  looking for something else

 I was watching with quiet fascination at the beautiful patterns created in the sand beneath my toes ..
I stumbled across many such patterns ....creations ....master pieces created by waves on  beach.   

Suddenly for me the beach looked like a canvas painted in diverse patterns 

Each pattern has to do something with the  currents, the tides ,the waves , the mineral deposits ,the rocks  and the organisms operate on the beach

The  Sand Bubbler crab, a crafty little beach-dweller  whose  sand ball creations are quite unintentionally artful.

the sand bubbler crab, nature’s very own artist 

While walking along  10 km beach at Dhareshwar i looked for this intricate patterns of  sand balls 

  designs made from tiny sand balls

creating these intricate masterpieces, knowing that the tide will soon come in and wash away his work forever.

 they're actually just the remnants left behind where a sand bubbler crab's been snacking

Like a lot of the most fascinating art forms, particularly ones that use nature as its medium, the sand bubblers delicate creations are short lived . Each time high tide returns, the sand ball formations crumble and are washed away, .

Early morning at  om beach in Gokarna  others were looking for a hot cup of coffee at the beach side restaurants  i was observing another fascinating art gallery

A sandy beach at low tide is often a magical place to be.  The receding sea can leave abstract patterns, often similar but never the same.

                                  The beauty of water meeting land ...

                              As the waves recede at low tide patterns are left in the sand  

             These beaches  typically consist of heavy iron-rich minerals and these    streaks are of those

         Wind in the sand trees......

    I observed.... The waves retreat gracefully and something beautiful remains ...

 Information  about sand bubbler crab -Thanks to Ravi Hegde.

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...