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.