It appears to me from media, from the TV shows, films and music, especially those from Hollywood & Bollywood, that the world today is obsessed and preoccupied with matters of the heart & the loins. Not to sound prudish \u2013 but there are many activities that people engage in, that do not warrant the attention they get in today\u2019s entertainment / media. \u2018Watching\u2019 men and women hunt for partners is really as absurd \u2018watching\u2019 them perform their daily ablutions!\nThis has nothing to do with what I started to write about except that both, my rant above and the textiles I am looking at today,\u00a0 share a common word: Loin.\nIn the hilltribes of South Asia, in the Golden Triangle and beyond, loin cloths are, or rather were the preferred costume of men.\nIn the hot and muggy summers, I guess this minimal form of clothing was purely functional, concealing only some of the critical assets*.\n[* Richard Dawkins points out that it is only in the human species that the women preen and do all they can to attract the attention of the males while in every other species it is the male that preens. In peacocks, in lions \u2026. the male has all the visible beauty and they are the ones who flaunt it and vie for the attention of the female. For some mysterious reason, in humans it is the females that do that by dressing up and exposing their assets. And the human males cover up! Worth wondering about!]\nComing back to the frugal loin cloth\u2026. these strips of cloth are worn by\u00a0 in several regions in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia and India and differ in the format across the regions.\u00a0 Some are merely 2 feet long while others are 4 meters long!\u00a0 Some go over the shoulder in addition to the waist while others just have a front with a wooden element on the back. In the past, loincloth made of bark or animal skin, were common while today cotton loincloths are the most prevalent.\nBut it seems that across all regions, the humble textile that began as a frugal and functional garment, eventually got embellished and beautified. And as the pictures below show us, loin cloths turned into works of textile art.\u00a0 Lead beads, white glass & plastic beads, tassels, cowrie shells and brass medallions were added to infuse symbolism and beauty into the piece.\nHere I present some photos that were sent to me years ago:\n\nLONGER LOIN CLOTHS TO BE DRAPED OVER THE WAIST & SHOULDERS\n\n\nOthers from my own photo library taken in 2010 in Arunachal Pradesh & Nagaland:\n\nWOODEN BACKPIECE\n\n\nMETAL MEDALLION\n\n\nWOVENS TEXTILE LOIN CLOTH WITH REED BELT\n\n\nTHE MOST FRUGAL, THE MOST RUSTIC LOTHA LOIN CLOTHS\n\n\n \u00a0 \n\nLOIN CLOTHS WITH COWRIES\n\n\nIn the last group, the artistry lies not only in the exceptionally beautiful loin cloths but also the complete costume! Absolutely magnificent!\n***\nIt amuses me to think that the exposure in the photos above might raise a few eyebrows, while similar exposure by women is considered commonplace and acceptable!\njm\nNov 2014\n\u00a0See more photos from Nagaland here\nExcellent examples of loin cloths from the hilltribes gallery of wovensouls and one more that has left us regrettably! Sigh!\n\nLOIN CLOTH WITH LEAD BEADS\n\nBy Jaina Mishra\nBy wovensouls\nThe post Loin Cloths \u2013 Art in Frugality appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.