Friday, April 27, 2012

Cochin Ladies...........working hard



 Fish stall in a small roadside market - Cochin, India

Although many women in India work in the bustling, noisy marketplaces of the larger cities and towns, they also quietly produce many handmade items in the small backwater villages. The women here also seem to be the hard workers..........these images were all taken on a Saturday afternoon. Local men seemed to be relaxing and taking it easy, while women were literally working their fingers to the bone!


 .....made by this lady. All were purchased by members of our tour group.

How wonderful it would be to hear stories from this 
woman who has always lived in this village earning her 
livelihood making her baskets.

This lady is weaving straw mats from wild pineapple leaves.......


 That pretty little girl again - the only one in the village with short hair!


Above, braiding thick, coarse leaves for covering 
roofs seemed a very hard job - note 
how she holds them steady with her feet.

 Coconut husks are dried........

 .......and woven into coir ropes.

This is the piece of machinery used to twist 
the rope.........note the tourist 
in our group who bought one of the 
baskets..........he found a good use for 
it in the hot sun!

  Another group member tried to get the hang  
of making rope.

***********

That afternoon we drove away from the village discussing how the lives of these women were so different from our own. This glimpse of rural India's simple homes and workshops was certainly interesting. 

Next stop was the Khadi Weaving Center - again just women staying busy and working hard on a Saturday afternoon. 


Stepping inside the small building we were amazed to see so many hand looms set up - the noise was loud and the women working diligently. It was a hive of activity - flying shuttles, cotton threads and dust whirling in the air.  






This weave looked familiar - I know I've purchased placemats in the past woven this way!  
I recall they always had Made in India tags, perhaps they actually came from here!


The cloth being woven by this lady was the one I chose to bring home with me - a beautiful shade of blue.


I would have enjoyed staying much longer here to watch and learn much more about the dying, spinning, and weaving of this basic but lovely cotton cloth................



..........however the bus was waiting and it was "goodbye" to another group of beautiful, smiling, hard working ladies.

Next time on the travelogue, a busy day in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) India.

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful cloth dear Mary, how neat that you met the weaver!
    The lady weaving baskets took my eye too - can't imagine why!
    Hope everything is well with you.
    Sending my very best wishes,
    Rose H
    xx

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  2. Love that blue fabric and also the baskets, interesting day for you.

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  3. Wonderful that you got to actually watch them, while they made these wonderful baskets, mats etc. Your photos are gorgeous.
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  4. What a wonderful souvenir, Mary.
    The lives of women all over the world are so varied. I couldn't help but notice how elegant the posture of those women was - the dignity they bring to their work - and then think of the slouching, sullen and entitled young women who I encounter every day in this 'first' world.
    These two last posts were lovely!

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  5. Interesting post, I'm not surprised that your tour group bought all the lady's baskets - they are beautiful. I love the fabric you bought too, it's a wonderful shade of blue. I love the saris that the ladies wear - it must be the most elegant form of dress ever invented I think.

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  6. Thanks for sharing, great photo's.

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  7. What beautiful smiles those women have, and they things they make are beautiful as well. It must be hard to sit at a loom all day -- I notice they have fabric under them as cushioning. Looking forward to seeing what you do with that lovely blue cloth.

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  8. This is all so interesting. How hard these women work! As we bring more and more texture into our homes (who would think I'd have a jute rug in my bedroom?), we must keep in mind the beautiful women of this country! Thank you for another great post!

    XO,
    Jane

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  9. Mary, you have no idea how much I'm enjoying being an arm chair traveler on this amazing trip. Thanks for sharing these images. I have to agree with Pondside about the beautiful, productive women you've featured. Lovely textiles and baskets.

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  10. I absolutely LOVED this post! The basket-making, and the weaving are skills I would have loved to watch. I own a weaving loom not unlike the ones in your photos, though it is stored away because I don't have room for it! I've never learned to use it, either, which is sad. But, these ladies work so hard, and make such beautiful items! I love the blue cloth you purchased. You will treasure it because you were there at its creation!

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  11. It is important to support these co-operatives isn't it.

    The cloth you bought was beautiful.

    Great photos as always.

    Sft x

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