Armenian women from Artvin in 1912
From many of the living Indian traditions, Sattriya from Assam is also one of the recognized Indian classical dances. Sattriya is performed in the monasteries of Assam for many centuries. Sattriya Nritya was an artistic way of presenting mythological teachings to the people in an accessible, immediate, and enjoyable manner. The theme of this classical Indian dance is derived from the ancient Indian mythology and in the past it was performed by both men and women, who typically belong to Sattras. But today it is practiced by many performers who dance on the beats of drums, cymbals and flute. The accompanied musical composition is called as Borgeets.
What is another fascinating aspect of Sattriya from Assam; the astonishing costumes of the dancers made of Assam’s silk. This silk is got from Indian mulberry plants so that the tremendous and sophisticated fabric be prepared for the Sattriya dancers. The males dress up with Dhoti and Chadar while the females wear Ghuri and Chadar. The waist cloth which is known as the kanchi or kingkini is worn by both the male and female dancers. The ornaments, too, are based on traditional Assamese designs. This is a real amazing experience to view this classical Indian dance,
BY JAHANZEB NAZIR
Odissi is practiced in the Eastern parts of India for thousands of years and according to the archaeological experts, it is the oldest surviving dancing tradition of India. Odissi originates from the Indian state Odisha or Orissa which is the ninth largest state of India. Odissi is one of the eight recognized classical Indian dances and it was performed in the Hindu temples as a ritual worship. The historic Odissi dance tradition existed in three schools: Mahari, Nartaki, and Gotipua
Odissi has the main distinction with the other dances as it involves the stamping of the foot and striking various postures. The evidence of such practice is noticed through the ancient Indian sculptures. Odissi dance style is achieved through expressions mainly through posture and stances,leaps (bhaunri), dancing steps, feet position, hand gestures and mood. In addition, there are approximately 48 single-hand and 26 double-hand gestures. Odissi dance is accompanied with special Odissi music.
(Kerncollectie Fotografie, Museum Volkenkunde)http://leradr.tumblr.com/post/70990807675/les-sources-du-nil-three-dancers-coming-from
Women of the Kayan Lahwi tribe are well known for wearing neck rings, brass coils that are placed around the neck, appearing to lengthen it. The women wearing these coils are known as giraffe women to tourists.
‘Many ideas regarding why the coils are worn have been suggested, often formed by visiting anthropologists, who have hypothesized that the rings protected women from becoming slaves by making them less attractive to other tribes. Contrastingly it has been theorised that the coils originate from the desire to look more attractive by exaggerating sexual dimorphism, as women have more slender necks than men. It has also been suggested that the coils give the women resemblance to a dragon, an important figure in Kayan folklore. The coils might be meant to protect from tiger bites, perhaps literally, but probably symbolically.’
“The inscription imprinted on the postcard in Japanese characters indicates an outing of ‘Pyongyang’ women. The big objects over women’s heads were used to hide their face and to protect from sunshine or rain.”
Source: Cornell University Library
Nuodeng, China - This village, perched on steep slopes overlooking a valley in China's Yunnan Province, is a slice of ancient times. As far back as the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, the village's plentiful reserves of potassium-rich salt were mined from salt wells and traded throughout southern Asia.
Salt, a rare and precious commodity, was essential for food preservation and led to Nuodeng being known as the richest village in China. Nuodeng salt was carried by horse caravan as far as India along the Tea Horse Road, which was also known as the Southern Silk Road. This vital trade route stretched from China's Sichuan Province to Tibet, India and Burma. Mules and donkeys are still used today by residents to transport heavy loads from Nuodeng, much of which remains inaccessible to motor vehicles.
Centuries of prosperity for the village came to an end when China's salt industry was nationalised upon Mao Zedong's rise to power in 1949. Nevertheless, descendants of the Huang salt merchant family continue to extract salt from brine by boiling it over huge wood-fired cauldrons. Along with tourism and salt-cured Nuodeng ham, salt is still a major source of income for the village.