Saturday, August 20, 2022

Jagdish Chitara and Gita Wolf (editor), The Cloth of the Mother Goddess, Tara Books, India, 2015, 1st edition, ed. 500

Front cover with cut-out view of cover of the book's cloth envelope

the front of the book's cloth envelope

reverse side of the envelope with statement about this publication

This double-accordion textile book with center panel, is a wonderful publication that uses a traditional votive cloth called Mata-Ni-Pachedi created by the Vaghari community of artists from the Gujarat region of north east India. The Vaghari have traditionally made this particular type of cloth dedicated to the Mother Goddess and this book is in effect a textile shrine that Chitara has created by using traditional wooden printing blocks that have been handed down within his family for generations. 

In the front panel the Mother Goddess is accompanied by her attendant gods and goddesses and their animals. On the reverse is the story of how the Mother Goddess came to be celebrated in this manner. Gita Wolf, the editor, provides an interesting overview of the book, the artist, the printing technique, the larger cosmology surrounding the Mother Goddess, as well as two videos at: The Cloth of the Mother Goddess - From Ritual Art to Cloth Book - Tara Books

The two publications that accompany the book fill out the rich history of this traditional art, including a storyboard that explains the people and events depicted in the book. In the second of the above videos Chitara addresses his hopes for the book saying, "This book...I want it to be a blessing that reaches people in far away places." I would say his wish has been granted — along with the help of Gita Wolf and the wonderful Tara Books!

6 double-sided pages (9.5" x 4.75"), center panel (9.5" x 9.5"), and when fully open 3' 2.5".

the front of the publication

the two accordion 'wings' of the book

work fully opened

center panel with the people and the Mother Goddess

reverse side

reverse fully open

two explanatory booklets that accompany the publication

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