Kalamkari

Among the things to marvel about India is the ascription of sacred meaning by the Hindu faith to virtually every aspect of human culture; the rich symbolic world of this faith; and the sacralization of the entire subcontinent by the stories told of the lives of the deities in it and their voyages across it. 

Kalamkari is drawing by pen (from Persian root words).  Sometimes the whole drawing is done by pen and sometimes hand block prints are filled in by pen.

The subjects, usually from the Ramayana and the Mahabarata, tell the stories of the lives and deeds and journeys of the deities of the Hindu pantheon.  The art was most often associated with shrines and religious festivals. Kalamkari scrolls were used by itinerant storytellers.

Vegetable dyes are still exclusively used.  On cotton.

The artisans who made the kalamkari shown here live and work in Ahmedabad, Gujerat.   The paintings shown here are very large and  the large ones take a minimum of six weeks to create. 

The process is an exercise in devotion. 

 

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Father and son master artisans , with a grandson.  Ahmedabad , 2010

 

 

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A second son of the family.  He created the peacock below.  Ahmedabad, 2010

 

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