if those fingers could talk …

if those fingers could talk …

8th January 2008

Samyuktha often told me what amazing skill the weavers have, but only now do I share her sense of awe.

Though I have visited weavers before, I merely admired their work. Now I am mesmerized, fascinated. Twisting each and every thread onto the warp, the old woman’s fingers danced. The melody of the wheel and the rhythm of the shuttle sliding back and forth across the loom … such art in the process few ever behold. At the same time the repetitive strain to eyes, hands, back, neck, feet … with little reward.
Family sees weaver in calendar

Weavers in Salilapeta (weavers colony) of village Tolapi, Ponduru block, Srikakulam District, AP look through AID 2008 calendar Kapda: Clothing the Nation. AID Saathi Pete Bakos met them several months ago and took photographs, several of which appear in the calendar. He joined us when we visited them just before the New Year and gave them copies of the calendar.

Varalkshmi gives calendar to weaver Varalakshmi gives calendar to weaver in Salilapeta (weaver’s colony), Tolapi.
Every household in this neighborhood works in one or more aspects of cloth-making. Families work together from dawn to dusk and children help out after school as well. The skill in their hands is simply amazing. How they can evaluate by mere touch how to stretch or twist the threads, when they are ready for the next step in the process. The rhythm of the couple working together at the loom, passing the shuttle back and forth. The beauty of indigo yarns drying … can’t be captured in print. After the calendar, visiting the weavers colony was a wholly different experience, it was truly a privilege. A schoolteacher in Hyderabad who saw the calendar wanted to arrange a field trip with her students. We shall have to think of how to introduce the people and the industry, what should the weavers as well as the students get out of such an interaction.