Story of Pride
It was difficult to think straight and keep one’s feet on the ground while roaming the halls of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy last Saturday. The walls, this time, were draped in exquisite jamdani saris; a priceless artwork, undoubtedly. On display were Aarong’s jamdani exhibits, saris that are antique pieces from the early nineteenth century to more recent replicas offered for sale. For anyone passionate about jamdanis, they found their cloud nine right there.
As part of Aarong’s 30th Anniversary Exhibition Series, an exhibition on jamdani saris titled ‘Story of Pride’ was inaugurated at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on January 9, 2010. The ‘Story of Pride’ exhibition is expected to create awareness and appreciation among the viewers, so that the jamdani industry and its precious asset – the weavers, can grow and thrive.
Jamdani spins its own magic and you are drawn to it. You gape in awe as you see the old sari of early nineteenth century, woven in 100 count handspun cotton thread. The mere feel of the weave is nothing like you see in the contemporary retail pieces available in stores. This particular old sari that caught everyone’s fancy had three paars, or an extra paar known as a skirt paar; the square motif on the achal, known as a pankhi, which was a combination of paisleys and flowers, was something to drool over. The sari was from the collection of Suraiya Hossain.
Besides displaying old heirloom pieces or heritage collections, the exhibition also had saris for sale, where timeless old motifs were revived.
Aarong awarded the six jamdani weavers, who have showcased their excellence in jamdani weaving through this exhibition. To recognise the skilled artistry of the weaving of jamdani, the award has been titled as ‘Award of Excellence’ in jamdani making.
The prize went to Karigar (Master Weaver) Md. Motalib and his Sagred (Apprentice) Shahnaj, second prize was awarded to Karigar Md. Osman and his apprentice Abeda and the third prize was received by Karigar Md. Shobuj and his apprentice Md. Jalil.
Each were awarded crests in recognition to their skill and Tk.50,000, Tk.30,000 and Tk.20,000 respectively.
Geetiara Safiya Choudhury, Chairperson and Managing Director of Adcomm Ltd., Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson, BRAC, Tamara Abed and Chandra Shekhar Saha were present at the ceremony.
“Today, what we need most is the awareness of buyers and sellers in patronising and promoting this outstanding craft. This also requires sincerity on the part of the weavers to uphold the spirit of taking the industry forward,” said Chandra Shekhar Shaha.
The exhibition is open for all from January 10 and will continue till January 20, 2010 – each Saturday to Thursday from 11am – 7pm and Friday from 3pm – 7pm.
By Raffat Binte Rashid
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed