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Textiles and Weavers in South India

Textiles and Weavers in South India
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Item Code: IDH152
Author: Vijaya Ramaswamy
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 0195676335
Pages: 298(Color Illus: 1, B & W Illus: 3, Maps: 2, Figure: 4)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.5" X 5.1"
About the Book

The Indian textile industry has a history of more than two thousand years dating back to the pre-Christian era. However, substantial data on textiles and weavers is available only form the medieval period, when South Indian handlooms prospered. Textiles and Weavers provides a comprehensive history of the world of weaving in South India from the tenth century onwards.

Focusing on the vicissitudes of the handloom industry and weaving communities, Vijaya Ramaswamy Presents a rare account of the socioeconomic world of weavers-oral traditions, their status and roles, and relationship with the state. She discusses the importance of social networks like caste, religion, and culture in textile production and trade. The author also analyses related production processes, textile technology, commercial organization, trade, and taxation.

This second edition takes the story of the South Indian handloom industry into the colonial period and beyond. It revisits the conditions of weavers in a context pf rapidly changing lifestyles and technology explosion. The author also examines the recent textile policies and challenges faced by traditional weaving communities.

The book integrates diverse research methodologies to offer multiple perspectives on the socio-economic world of weaving communities. In contra-distinction to existing studies, the author utilizes archival and epigraphic records, regional chronicles, folk traditions, and personal interviews to provide a 'view from below'.

This book will interest students and scholars of Indian history particularly South India and those interested in fashion, textile designing, and the growth of technology.

About the Author

Vijaya Ramaswamy is Professor of History at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

CONTENTS
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION XI
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITIONXV
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSXVIII
ABBREVIATIONSXIX
AUTHOR'S NOTEXX
Introduction
Textiles and Weavers Down the Ages1
Chapter I
The Weavers, Textile Production and Trade
(Tenth to Fourteenth Centuries)
6
Chapter II
The Weavers, Society and the State
(Tenth to Fourteenth Centuries)
35
Chapter III
Textile Centres, Production and Trade
(Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)
63
Chapter IV
The Weavers, Society and the State
(Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)
94
Chapter V
Textile Production, Organization and Trade
(Seventeenth Century)
117
Chapter VI
The Weavers, Society and the East India Company
(Seventeenth Century)
150
CONCLUSION 167
AFTERWORD171
Rewind Forwards
NOTES191
APPENDICES229
GLOSSARY236
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY245
INDEX258
Appendices and Glossaries
Appendix 1: Currency Equivalents207
Appendix 2: The Volume and Price of Textiles Exported from the Coromandel Coast to England between 1675 and 1701, at Uneven Intervals208
Notes to Appendix 2212
Glossary 1: The Textile Varieties of South India (Seventeenth Century)214
Glossary 2: General Native Terms217
Tables
Rates of Taxation in the Handloom Industry (Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)87
The Price of Paddy and Rice in the Seventeenth Century at uneven Intervals of Time154
Maps
1. Weaving Centres in Medieval South India AD 1000-1500 (based on inscriptional evidence)7
2. Seaports in Medieval South India78
3. The Direction of East India Trade in the Seventeenth Century132
Figures
1. A Cotton Cleanser21
2. A Cotton Bow22
3. A Spinning Wheel23
Plates
Frontispiece- Detail, figured coverlet, Kalamkari, Deccan, Golconda, AD 1630-40
(between pp. 116 and 117)
Bijapur wall-hanging dated around 1640-a medley of Christian, Islamic and Hindu figures
Vishnu and Lakshmi at the centerpiece with scenes from the Bhagavatam in surrounding panels
An Islamic kanat of the seventeenth century from Golconda The Pandavas at the end of their exile, offering worship to Lord Narayana. A scence from the Mahabharata
A part of the Sivapurana, this depicts the scene of Daksha Yajna and the killing of Daksha by the 'Shivadhoota' or Shiva's army Bijapur wall-hanging dated around 1640-a medley of Christian, Islamic and Hindu figures

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