Entangled Yarns: Banaras Weavers and Social Crisis

By: Vasanthi Raman

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The book focuses on the crisis that visited the world of the Banaras weavers during the last two decades. The author traces the genealogy of both, the crisis and the weavers. The weavers’ history journey from being ordinary low caste julahas to conversion to Islam and their becoming Momin Ansaris is an important milestone in their social and historical voyage. However, despite conversion, continuous and long term relations with other social groups and castes, including Hindu merchants constituted a significant component of their social existence and experience. The complex and tortuous relations between Muslims and Hindus over centuries notwithstanding, a metaphor drawn from weaving- tana bana has evolved which has defined the texture of the weaving industry as well as contributed to a composite culture. The colonial period marks a significant rupture which fractured the social cohesion that marked their world and eroded the ideal of the self-employed independent artisan. The partition of the subcontinent was another agonising watershed. The last two decades were decisive in culminating a process begun in the early years of colonial capitalism wherein the global has impacted the local with irrevocable consequences. The book focuses on the impact of the crisis on weavers and their families. The author foregrounds intercommunity relations which are embedded in and intertwined with the relations of production in the artisanal cottage industry and the gender relations which are integral to it. Combining social history, rich ethnographic fieldwork and analysis of current economic policies and their impact, the book should interest scholars in these diverse fields. It is a detailed social document of the plight of the weavers as they face near extinction as an artisanal community. Printed Pages: 136.

Title: Entangled Yarns: Banaras Weavers and Social Crisis

Author Name: Vasanthi Raman

Categories: India, Social Studies,

Publisher: Shimla, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies: 2013

ISBN: 9789382396000

Seller ID: 901429

Keywords: Entangled Yarns: Banaras Weavers and Social Crisis Vasanthi Raman