19 July 2006

Lady Weavers

These are the ladies of the family who live in the Saint's compound. They are bamboo workers and are currently working on making shovel-like plates, which are used for winnowing and cleaning raw rice. It's fascinating to watch the transformation of the bamboo. The whole trunk will arrive in one piece, and the workers set upon it stripping it down bit by bit into whatever size they want. In the background you can someone fashioning long strips of bamboo which will be softened in water and then made into whatever the weaver wishes.

This is the weaver's mother. They told me she is over 70 years old and although she does in fact look it, I doubt she is that age. Indian ladies are deservedly renowned for their great beauty, however because of the harsh demanding life, the women in this country (particularly country ladies) do age quickly. As well as that, the ladies often experience problems with their backs, hips and internal organs even at a young age, very often because of harsh physical labour.

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