Travel Diary: Manali Recruits NEW Weaver

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yes! I kid you not… here’s the NEW recruit, fitting in comfortably with the family members of a local weaving community up in {the not so quaint} Old Manali.
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This sight is not unique (err… by that I meant families involved in weaving and not mom sitting amongst them working labouriously), as there are approximately 20,000 to 22,000 weavers engaged in the craft focusing around the Kullu Valley, mostly operating out from their own dwellings.

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Conditions in these homes and the economic conditions of these families are less than satisfactory, with most making around Rs. 50 – 110 per day for highly labourious work in the light of soaring prices of raw materials. Most homes are equipped with 4 – 5 traditional weaving machines placed along cramped courtyards and bedrooms that doubles as a sitting, dining, study, living {… etc.} room for the entire family. Floors of homes are mostly compacted mud with colourful rugs strewn over them, adding colour, vibrancy and character to these homes. Despite their ‘hardship’*, these families had so much to give … the hospitality and warmth is just heart tugging amazing that it almost makes you feel guilty from ‘taking away’ whatever little they have!
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{ok, here’s the REAL photos I went for … but ended up not doing a documentary on them – err a bit too N.G.M for my taste with a dollop of stereotypical India imagery.}

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Old Manali, Kullu Valley, India – 2009
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Photos by Penelope Gan

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*strictly based on my personal subjective opinion

LINK to my photo story on  Women Weavers : Kully Valley HERE

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