Shankha Sacred Tibetan Textiles: Lined Midi Journal

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Artistic, religious and cultural traditions unite in the handwoven fabric behind this Sacred Tibetan Textiles design. For centuries, Muslim families in Varanasi, India, have practiced the art of handweaving silks to create cloths and vestments for sacred rituals. The city lies just a few miles from the Buddhist pilgrimage site Sarnath, where the Buddha first gave his sermon upon becoming enlightened. In this place, Islamic, Buddhist and even Hindu practices have become woven together in harmony.

In Varanasi, the Kasim family has been practicing this meditative tradition for generations, passing down the knowledge and reverence of their ancestors. The fabric reproduced on our cover comes straight from the Kasim Silk Emporium and is an authentic expression of the family’s cultural heritage. In this design, created for Buddhist monasteries and the Dalai Lama, the weavers have portrayed the path to enlightenment, both in the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism represented by the pattern and in the brightness of the colors chosen. As with many such textiles, the symbolism is deep and varied in our Shankha pattern. One can easily pick out representations of the Endless Knot, Treasure Vase, Wheel of Dharma and Golden Fish. But it is the white Conch Shell, representing thoughts of the Buddha and called Sankha in Sanskrit and Shankha in Tamil, that stands out on this cover.

An expression of faith and spirituality, this brocade fabric is both beautiful and highly symbolic, and the care that goes into each individual stitch is a visual example of the weaver’s adherence to a sacred ritual.

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Format: Hardback with elastic closure
Pages: 144 lined
Size: 5.00 x 7.00 inches


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