Mar 13, 2008

My first Jamdani Sharee !!

This Friday I went to a river cruise on Sheetalakhya river with my colleagues to celebrate the successful completion of project "Template-kit" and "Simple publishing". We started from Demra ghat and after one hour we landed at Murapara where we got to visit a jamidar bari which is now converted to a college. It was the "palace" of jamidar ( lord ) Jogodish Banarjee and now called Rupgonj college. We also visited the nearby nursery and took a lot of pictures.
Then returned to the boat and headed towards the Jamdani Village. Many weaver-family live in this village and their family business is to make jamdani shari.

The Mughal emperors were patrons for jamdani industry . The earliest mention of jamdani and its development as an industry is found in Kautikaya (about 3rd century BC), where it is stated that this fine cloth was used in Bangla and Pundra. Dhaka, Sonargaon, Dhamrai, Titabari, Jangalbari and Bajitpur were famous for making superior quality jamdani and muslin at that time. Traders from Europe, Iran, Armenia, as well as Mughal-Pathan traders used to deal in these fabrics (source:banglapedia) . These villages are the ruins of that time bearing the heritage of that era. As we proceeded farther we could hear the sound of shuttle of jamdani making machine right from the time we stepped there.
After a while we visited one of such jamdani mill. I got to see the jamdani making process and one of the weavers told me that it takes several weeks to make one jamdani shari and no two sharis are of the same pattern.Each and every piece of shari is different from each other. Actually there are similarities , but I noticed that there is a subtle difference in the geometric pattern( Jamdani saris mainly contains floral or geometric motifs , the expert weavers work from memory, they do not draw the design on paper). Jamdani is the most expensive product of Dhaka looms since it requires the most lengthy and dedicated work. When I wanted to buy one, they asked for a very high price, more than twice the actual price . After a few minutes of bargaining I bought two sharis from there for half the price they asked and it was the first time I bought any sari myself . Actually it was the first time I bought any clothing material myself. Generally my mom buys these stuffs. I just make my choices and then the rest of the job is upon her. So I felt a bit " grown up " at that moment.