HomeLifestyleThe weavers of Kuthampalli recreate the famous parrot motif of Kalakshetra sari...

The weavers of Kuthampalli recreate the famous parrot motif of Kalakshetra sari at Kasavu, Kerala

The parrot has an important role in Tamil culture and appears in Indian mythology as a learned sage, who is also an epitome of love.

The parrot has an important role in Tamil culture and appears in Indian mythology as a learned sage, who is also an epitome of love.

In the late 1930s, Rukmini Devi Arundel, dancer, theosophist and founder of the Chennai-based Kalakshetra Foundation, Kylie (Parrot) motif on Kalakshetra saree. Today, the design has found its way into Kasavu, Kerala, courtesy Kochi-based designer Shruti Prajosh, as part of her Onam edit.

A textile enthusiast, Shruti has worked with the handloom weavers of Kuthampalli in Thrissur for 13 years and started the Kaithiri project to bring in year-round work for the weavers. “It’s like a dream come true,” she says. “I have been talking to weavers about this design for the past six months.” She says the young weavers (about 30% of the Kuthampalli weaving community) are eager to experiment with new designs.

Shruti has imported motifs from various traditions, cultures and mythology of India into Kerala Kasavu, which is usually worn only during festivals in the state. Four years ago she designed a sari with a tree of life motif. Other innovations include Kasavu sarees (worn on various occasions) in pastel colors, adding orange colored jaali on the border and adding the Phoda Khumba motif (triangular-shaped roof) to the temple architecture.

“Six years ago, we introduced Kattam (Check), the wind (bandages) and techniques like ‘muthu kattam’ from kanjeevaram in the body of Kasavu. We took technical help to make it Kylie Card invited a weaver from Coimbatore to work with us in Kuthampalli. as a weave, Kattam There is a need for accurate and correct calculations,” says Shruti. The weaver does the mental math to calculate the required thread count.

Shruti states that the 200 weavers of Kuthampilli were originally from Tamil Nadu. “About 500 years ago, the local kings brought these weavers here and they settled down. They speak a mixture of Tamil, Malayalam and Konkani.”

According to Chennai-based textile researcher Mrs. Mohan, the original parrot motif was first found in the dress of Rukmini Devi Arundale, when she performed the dance drama, Kutrala Kurvinjic, “It was a cotton trunk and the parrots were very big on it.” One of the most popular motifs it was modeled on Venkatagiri sarees and also on Ashavalli brocade of Gujarat.

a purpose of love

The parrot has an important role in Tamil culture and appears in Indian mythology as a learned sage. It is also a motif of love and hence forms an important pattern in bridal sarees.

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