We’ve been in Lata Village about a week now and things have begun to happen with the Trading Traditions Project. Of course, our journey thus far has been full of experiences with the traditions and life-ways of these mountains. Still, now that we are settled in Lata for a while we have a chance to learn more.
Dr. Sunil Kainthola has asked me to help with an initiative to revive traditional practices in rug making. I have been observing the ancient designs carved in stone at the Nanda Devi Temple and at some of the older water sources. I am incorporating these patterns into carpet designs. Dr. Kainthola has arranged for some young women to be trained in vegetable dying. He wants to combine the practice of natural dyes with designs from the cultural past. He will commission some carpets from these patterns I’m making and market them through The Mountain Shepherds. I’m excited about this unexpected opportunity to serve the community here.
I’ve also just begun my lessons in rug making. I’m being taught by husband and wife team Nun Dhun Singh Rawat and Lila Devi Rawat. So far we have completed 4-5 inches of carpet with 40-50 inches to go. It’s good work for me. I like to do tedious work with my hands. Ian has been helping also and he is learning to spin wool on a drop spindle. This is challenging but he’s getting better everyday. We have also found a solution for making a quilter’s frame. There is a large style loom here, the bottom of which can be rigged to serve our purposes in appalachian style quilt making. There will be a few local girls recruited to work on the quilt with me and Mountain Shepherds will buy the end product to complete the economic loop for the craftswomen.
Right now we are having trouble with our electronic equipment so my sketches are taking the place of photos. We will continue working to sort out this issue. We’ll also be scanning some of the diagrams for posting soon.
Thanks for your comments and support.