New Google project-We Wear Culture

  • Textile collections from museums and cultural institutions of India, along with at least three unique Indian weaving traditions — Baluchari, Patola and brocades — have featured in Google’s virtual exhibition project titled “We Wear Culture” .
  • Textiles having different motifs and designs from northeastern India (1850-1980), mainly collected during anthropological fieldwork, are on display as important cultural artefacts.
  • A 19th century warrior cloth worn by the Nagas — a black and red wrap with a white band in the middle having painted human figures — signifies the number of heads taken by the person.
  • Other unique cultural objects in the digital collection are the Pani Gamcha, a black cotton cloth with white stripes, used by the Meitei women in Manipur and the Kakat-Bandha, a narrow piece of yellow cotton cloth with embroidery work, used by the Bodo people.
  • The tradition of Baluchari sari weaving is as old as modern Bengal itself, said Jayanta Sengupta, director of Indian Museum, Kolkata.
  • The digital collection shows Baluchari saris dating back to 19th century, with some of the pieces from the Tagore family.
  • With its origins in Murshidabad, the weaving tradition started from a village called Baluchar, which was submerged during a flood.
  • Google’s project also details the time-consuming craft of Patola saris, traditionally woven by the Salvi community of Gujarat and the richly decorative brocades, typically woven on a drawloom.
  • The brocade weavers from Banaras have historically had a rich repertoire, producing not only saris but also skirts, patkas, turbans and ornate costumes and furnishings since the 17th century for the Mughal court.


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