Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tinsel Workers. Kashmir-Jammu.Then-Now.

"Photograph of tinsel workers in Jammu & Kashmir in India, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. This image shows three seated workers with the tools of their trade. The tinsel wires are made of silver, or silver coated with gold leaf, and made into a bar in the shape of a candle, which is then forced through a series of holes on a steel plate to obtain increasingly fine-gauged lengths. Traditionally the wire was then wound onto a reel, as seen in the photograph, attached at the other end to a jantar, another steel plate, which allowed for futher refining of the gauge, and wires no thicker than a hair were obtained this way. A tola (180 grains of metal) usually produced 600 to 1,200 yards of wire."
via: British Library
The frilly things seen dangling  in the above photographs are the Atahoor worn by Kashmiri pandit women in their ears (more often around the time of marriage festivities). These are not usually made of metal wires anymore, instead they are now made of synthetic (Sulma/Tillathreads. And since there aren't many Atah wearing Pandit women left in valley anymore, the trade of these shiny things (along with some other shiny things like 'shiny golden' Kangri, employed for some ceremonies during marriage rites) has now moved to Jammu.




2012. Link Road. Jammu.
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