Issue #009, 2022 ISSN: 2581- 9410
- The Secret Life of Textiles
- Not a Valid Document
1-The Secret Life of Textiles
Last summer, we were lucky enough to go to the USA to participate in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Afterwards, we arranged a few opportunities to teach Rabari embroidery to textile enthusiasts in selected American cities.
In one venue, I was speaking to a former museum colleague who told me she had purchased a de- accessioned museum object from auction. I was surprised, and a little skeptical. Really? Many folk embroideries look similar, after all.
She showed me the piece. I recognized it! It had been published in my book.
It winked at me from her wall. (“Free at last”?)
A moment later, Lachhuben, who had been paging through Threads of Identity
while we spoke in a language she could not follow, showed me the frontispiece. “That is my bokani!” she exclaimed.
Though Lachhuben Karna was central to my book, I met this Lachhuben- Lachhuben Raja– only in 1993, well after the book was completed. And, I explained to her, I had bought the bokani from Raniben, Lachhuben Karna’s daughter.
The wheels in Lachhuben Raja’s mind were speeding. “What year was that?” she asked.
1983 or 1984.
Click. “That was the year my husband was working in Muscat,” she said. And then she related how Vanka Kana from Bhujodi, where Ranibe...