The inevitable outcome of passion \u2013\u00a0 if one can afford it \u2013\u00a0 is heavy expenditure.\nI mean expenditure of the most scarce resource i.e. \u201ctime\u201d.\nIn my case, much of that expenditure seems to be aimless and may simply be undirected browsing or absorbing of scraps of data without any specific goal. The innate liking for the subject holds the interest as the mind wanders through the limitless infinity of information. If one were to engage in formal study of the subject the route is charted and structured and one knows exactly what one will learn and what one will not learn. But in the case of interest-driven-learning the path changes every day \u2013 with a new stimulus drawing me deep into an area that, until that point I had no idea even existed!\nAnd so the journey remains fun.\nAnd in my case also completely unproductive.\nI am simply consuming. Drinking in the images and the information. A student forever. The mind is calm, smiling every now and then, and in a state of restful awareness and enjoyment. Somewhat like spending a day at the Mandovi riverside sitting on the benches at Kala Academy. Observing, sipping tea, just sitting at peace, watching, counting the clouds and the mining barges float by \u2013 no agenda, no hurry, just aimless watching.\nUntil ONE DAY.\nSuddenly I begin to \u2018see\u2019 patterns. Or rather, until the one day when the patterns \u201creveal\u201d themselves to me. Suddenly hidden within the data points that were just a whole lot of randomly scattered dots, I can see a pattern. Like the game I made my children play \u2013 join the dots\u2026.\nAnd then the mind begins to stir, and process every bit of data gathered to sift and find more evidence in support of the pattern or against. There is a sudden urgency and a hurry. The restful state has changed into a hungry churning state. I am no longer sitting on the bench watching a calm Mandovi river \u2013 instead it is like being at Calangute beach facing the stormy monsoon sea \u2013 with waves that have so much unbridled energy that they can consume the being. That sea has an energy that sucks me in, I want to become one with the ocean and drown in that energy. No restful watching \u2013 there is no patience for that anymore!\nAnd then the productivity of the mind occurs.\nA few days ago, when I looked at two identical textile that were from completely different regions but were identical in their craftwork,\u00a0 I realised that these are quite possibly markers of ethnic migrations. Textiles that might offer firm support for either forming the null hypothesis or for testing it \u2013\u00a0 support that might be sufficient to warrant the deep ancestry research offered by google (and others) on a scale that would be statistically significant.\nThe connection that I see is not through simple motifs \u2013 such as a cross or a straight line \u2013 those could have been discovered independently in a hundred different locations without copying form each other or comparing notes. This is not about motifs. Because motifs are easy to copy.\nThis is about the craft. It is about extremely complicated skills that would take a whole lot of training to master. Heaven knows how hard and how long our school teachers worked to teach us clueless middle school girls a few simple chain stitches and hemming and such! This type of craft would not have been possible in a hole group of textiles unless there was some serious time spent on imparting that skill.\nThis is about pieces that are a hundred years old.\u00a0 In those days only the best schools were available \u2013 the school of the grandma!\nAnd finally this is about completely disconnected geographies.\nThe case is one of an antique textile created with a craft that is so unique (and complex) that it is associated with one and only one ethnic group that is small in numbers and concentrated in a region.\nOr so I thought \u2013 until I found another textile group that is attributed to an ethnic group far far away \u2013 but is identical to the first group!\nHow did that come to be?\nWould two groups independently arrive at this craft? The complexity of the craft makes that unlikely.\nAnd so it will be useful to investigate the journeys of their ancestors!\nWho knows \u2013 maybe the ethnographic experts may already know about these migrations as a fact and my exciting revelation is just a moment of personal discovery rather than something of major significance for the libraries of the world!\nTo me, the real reward\u00a0 lies in the personal journey of discovery. An exciting\u00a0 exploration awaits!\nMore on this subject when I have some \u2018thos saboot\u2019 or \u2018firm evidence\u2019\njm\nNov 2014\nThe post Textile Ethnography \u2013 Markers of Migration appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.