Textiles have been the binding factor in the cultural history of India and Southeast Asia from time immemorial. As the foremost currency they were carried by the traders from the banks of river Ganga to the fertile areas around the river Mekong and to the rich spice islands of Suvarnadwipa, Indonesia.Over the centuries, these textiles turned into vehicles of culture that built the foundation for an enduring multi-layered and multi-coloured relationship. The painted textiles from the Coromandel coast, the block-printed fabrics and the double-ikat patola from Gujarat enticed Southeast Asian royalty and masses alike. These trade textiles, considered ritually powerful and imbued with magical qualities played an integral role in binding India with Southeast Asia while becoming a part of the regional folklore, ceremonies and rituals. Over time they were seamlessly assimilated into the local culture. This cultural amalgam were here to stay as solid as the rocks of Borobudur and Konark and as intricately woven as the double-ikat patola which is the cultural legacy in Southeast Asia.
Number of Pages: 197
Publication Date: 20/11/2015
Imprint: Manohar / ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute