Kaithoon Village near Kota, Rajasthan
Kota saris (sari is the traditional Indian dress for women) rule through summer. Light and airy, these are an excellent protection against the north Indian heat. The ‘real’ Kota saris are still made as they were 250 years ago, by a tedious, fully manual process, in a village called Kaithoon, 22 km away from Kota city. And how many saris does Kaithoon weave in a year? Well, it has 1,200 looms, each one producing no more than five saris a month. That is 60 in a year from one loom or 72,000 from the entire village. The actual figure, however, is closer to 60,000.
The weavers are all Muslim. The women also weave, often better than their husbands. They cover their heads and go about their business cheerfully. The burqha (head dress covering the face) is a rare sight indeed in Kaithoon. Money is also in short supply, and you’ll find the family, their loom and their goat coexist in the one-room-veranda dwellings. The future prospect of the craft lies in the hands of the women, who start inheriting weaving skills in their maiden homes at the age of 10/12 and become fairly skilled at the age of 15 to 16. They usually get married at the age of 18 to 20 but the marriage is strictly within the community and within clusters so that the craft remains limited to the clusters. Mariam, who you see in this picture is one such woman. She works 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to create a Kota Sari which would adorn many a beautiful woman. A sari takes 7 to 8 days to make at the minimum, but the wages received by the weavers are insufficient and there are no savings practically. I photographed her here as she worked almost unmindful of me, behind the veil created by the cotton threads.
Critiques | Translate
jasmis (57824) 2010-02-15 23:14
Amazing portrait. Something has been told but something left to tell.
Interesting note, as well.
Regards my dear friend.
yquem46 (38382) 2010-02-15 23:34
Never been successful in this kind of shots even though I tried many times
This one is splendid Angshu, very delicate colors and attitude of the woman, with her gentle smile
Nicely composed off-center on a light blue non disturbing BG wall
have a nice day
John_F_Kennedy (42048) 2010-02-16 0:59
Great portrait of a woman at work. Very nice work.
Elaine_Blath (8509) 2010-02-16 1:08
very beautiful portrait, half-seen, half-felt, this is a photo with many stories behind it, and I really do enjoy looking at it...
Take care, Ivana
holmertz (37765) 2010-02-16 1:44
A beautiful photo. While we can watch the woman weaving, she is still in a way protected from too inquisitive stares from the thin veils. The pink veils and the blue wall make an interesting combination.
Gerrit (44887) 2010-02-16 2:24
excellent light and a beautiful composition.
A fine portrait in great colors.
magalik (6101) 2010-02-16 3:51
It frees much softness thanks to the veil in foreground, with the woman who seems very gracious and the colors which are very soft and harmonious.
The framing is perfect according to me and the idea to use this veil in your composition was great.
Moreover, you perfectly mananged the veil and you succeeded to get a light very well balanced.
Really a great work. Congratulations.
pierrefonds (55290) 2010-02-16 4:27
You captured well the serious expression of the woman weaving the thread. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the threads and of her sari. The surrounding light is enhancing the colors. Well done, have a nice day.
Longroute (19392) 2010-02-16 7:15
this is a very delicate, almost intimate photo. Not only is a fine composition but I think is what they call a photo with a feeling. Really well composed and so expressive, it shows a great deal of aestetic sense and sensitivity.
When I was a child most of the women in the countryside villages of my island used to sit at the loom to weave fine tissues, carpets, and other things and contributed to the poor economy of the families. The looms where built by wood like centuries ago, now only few of the remain...
Thanks for this precious document and this excellent photo.
gentedilivello (3095) 2010-02-16 10:22
very nice composition, suggestive and moody. You framed it very well. Nice job.
Fis2 (82490) 2010-02-16 11:25
Good portrait of a woman at work.
I like POV and composition.
Very curious depth.
ChrisJ (94842) 2010-02-16 20:15
Good daily life scene & explanatory note on the woman & her sari dress. Excellent color, sharpness & lighting. Well composed using the rule of thirds. Tfs!
Graal (95644) 2010-02-16 23:22
"she works 12 hours a day,7 days a week..." - it's terrible! An interesting note, reportage about produce of sari and photo.
Have a nice day.
eversmile (11628) 2010-02-17 1:41
A strange choice, at first sight, to take the picture behind the threads, that, as you mention it, make a kind of veil; instead than trying it from the apparently free space in the middle. But the result is certainly more mysterious so, and the delicate colors contribute to justify your decision. Very sweet, subtle, and full of emotion. Congratulations!
patdeph (35748) 2010-02-17 3:03
I love this portrait where the woman appears behind the transparency of the veil!The soft colors are wonderful!This is for me so beautiful that I add it in my theme,thank you very much!
supi4u (599) 2010-02-17 6:06
Amazing portrait perfect placing in 1/3 position. So many stories behind the face expression Very well done.
Leconte (5795) 2010-02-17 7:13
quelle magnifique portrait et beau visage caché discrètement derrière ce voile subtil,
josepmarin (57591) 2010-02-17 9:59
Namaste, my friend Angshuman,
The great beauty of Saris remain eclipsed when I read your note in which you explain the hard work and the low wages of the weavers.
Your excellent photo is a nice honoring for these women, and the veil adds a light touch of mystery to the composition.
A beautiful shot.
BennyV (13546) 2010-02-17 12:08
Lovely and dignified. This is another great picture, dear Angshu. Great dof work. It works.
emjleclercq (15780) 2010-02-17 13:48
A very original pciture, with a very clever play on the clearness of the veil. Well done,
batalay (34817) 2010-02-17 17:29
Hello Mr. B,
What a sensitive photo of the woman. Beautiful, poignant. To have to do such tedious work 84 hours a week, what was she in a previous life. Your gallery is so varied — from architectural portraits to artisans and artists.
Warm regards, Mr. B.
Waylim (25162) 2010-02-17 17:43
This is a very lovely POV, looking through the Veil of Threads, I love the blur effect of the veil that gives this image its 3 dimensional quality. Love the soft texture of her feature, so elegant and gentle. There is also a very mysterious mood like a very shy woman hiding behind the curtain of veil. Another wonderful shot. I really enjoyed it. My complement and admiration.
siolaw (38052) 2010-02-17 21:45
Nice delicate light and colour tones here and an interesting effect through the cloth... Even then, you managed good sharpness too.
jafadabret (56501) 2010-02-17 23:50
Cette photo est très belle. J'aime l'atmosphère pleine de douceur de cette scène où on voit une femme tisser un sari.
pajaran (49023) 2010-02-18 0:30
Pozdrav iz Cuprije.
Zanat stah stotinu godina, dobar tekst, dobar motiv, lepe boje i fotografija, tezak posao tkaca, dobar rad, svidja mi se vidjenje zene kroz tkaninu.
Uspah u daljem radu, Paja.
Greetings from Cuprija.
Craft Stah hundred years, a good text, good theme, nice colors and photos, weavers hard work, good work, like my vision of women through the fabric.
Uspah in future work, Paja.
CLODO (29358) 2010-02-18 0:51
Nice delicate portrait with silk everywhere. Pastel hues reinforce the idea of calm, quietness.
jhm (135866) 2010-02-18 4:07
This is a bit mysterious woman behind the curtain
One is splendid Angshu, very delicate colors and attitude of the woman.
Very well captured and composed.
Nice photo work. TFS.
papagolf21 (83520) 2010-02-18 14:02
Bonsoir, mon ami Angshu,
Toujours à la recherche d'images réalisées avec le plus grand soin.
Merci de nous faire partager de tels cadeaux.
Ici, encore, l'image parle d'elle-même !
Tu as du talent Angshu.
bukitgolfb301 (34628) 2010-02-18 15:50
Hello my dear Prof. Angshuman
Sorry for my long absence, one month sanction is just over. Perfect framework indeed as usual and very tasteful color balance. I like this photo very much.
Best regards and thanks for sharing
sagar (2410) 2010-02-21 3:53
Lovely composition with a documenatry approach. Very naturally and intracately composed. Khub sundor!
lacroux (4562) 2010-02-21 9:03
Thank you for your detailed note on the sari weavers and their craft work.
The cotton veil make mider the features of this woman who is very beautiful and full of sweetness.
En France actuellement le gouvernement envisage de faire voter une loi interdisant de porter la burqha dans les lieux publics au nom du principe de laïcité.
En France le port de signes religieux ostentatoires Dans les lieux publics est interdit. Pour les défenseurs de la laïcité la burqa représente une atteinte aux libertés individuelles, à la féminité, il s’agit d’une prison
ambulante. D'autres au nom de la démocratie y voient une atteinte à la liberté individuelle. La polémique fait rage...
In France the government is currently considering passing a law banning the wearing burqha in public places under the principle of secularism (laïcité).
In France the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in public places is prohibited. For defenders of secularism, the burqha is an infringement on individual freedoms, femininity, it is a walking prison. Others on behalf of the democracy it was an infringement on individual freedom. The controversy is raging...
pablominto (53744) 2010-02-21 23:18
Veils always leave an air of mystery, of something half hidden..!
Here that feature is well recorded, as we get no idea what the woman is up to - just that she is focused on something...
A fine composition with interesting lines!
figenya (2852) 2010-02-22 13:26
Soft colours of Canon combined with your eyes result in good jobs...:) Excellet POV. She is aware of you but she let you take a natural standing, that is great. I also loved th blue background and the composition as a whole.
Kielia (22913) 2010-02-23 5:43
I remember her very well from the previous post but I must admit that this portrait is even more beautiful. There is such a certain aura that is not only caused by the "curtain" but also by the special relationship between her and the photographer! This composition is really a masterpiece, my compliments, also for the interesting note!
ciakgiak (30407) 2010-02-26 13:30
the woman behind the veil give a really suggestive atmosphere to your shot, I like a lot this kind of portraits, so beautiful and mysterious.
The quality is absolutely perfect.
Bluejeans (64247) 2010-03-03 5:42
Ola amigo ,
Bom ponto de focagem na mulher que esta a trabalhar , ficou bem interessante o primeiro plano com as linhas do tear desfocadas, bom enquadramento da foto , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
Atousa (7123) 2010-03-10 8:57
I remember her from your another shot and this one also is an impressive capture of Mariam weaving Sari.. this veil has created a kind of delicacy which I like a lot!.. tfs
Best regards, Atousa
quillo (11850) 2010-03-31 9:26
Hola amigo Angshuman ------------------>
Simple and elegant photo, the color and the light ... exquisite,
the moment of the woman being employed at the loom is very interesting,
I like much the result.
Un abrazo y gracias por compartir.
kmangwani (338) 2010-04-01 21:17
A very creative approach to this portrait... anyone else perhaps would have composed the lady through the clear open space between the loom threads. The veil reminisces of the purdah days of yore.
CMJC (4010) 2010-04-12 7:35
la photo semble intemporelle
une composition simple et délicate, les premier fils hors champs donnent un voile supplémentaire, c'est beau et bien fait ☺
quel travail et quelle application pour ces étoffes fines et sensuelles
bel hommage au travail des femmes aussi
kordinator (14831) 2011-02-04 1:03
Great portrait of a woman at work.
Curtain is a beautiful decor.
Fantastic point of view and composition.
Very curious depth.
Interesting note, as well.
Regards my friend
- Copyright: Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) (54921)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-10-30
- Categories: Daily Life, Artwork
- Camera: Canon 400D (Digital Rebel XTi), Canon 18 - 55mm / f 3.5 - 5.6
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/20 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Rajasthan, The Circuit Lesser Known
- Theme(s): The WOMEN in the work., mon hommage à l'Inde [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2010-02-15 22:35
- Favorites: 2 [view]