Cloth of the Mother Goddess
By Jagdish Chitara
This exquisite textile book tells the story of the origins of Mata-Ni-Pachedi, the ritual ‘Cloth of the Mother Goddess’. Traditionally created by artisans from the nomadic Vaghari community in Gujarat, these votive cloths offer a painted image of the goddess to herself. Gifting a piece of creation to the creator is considered the highest form of worship. Hand block-printed on textile, this limited-edition artists’ book is in the form of a cloth shrine that unfolds and is rigid enough to stand on its own. It pays tribute not only to a sublime conception of the power of art, but also to the labor involved in creating it. Each copy is accompanied by a facsimile paper storyboard, featuring text that takes the reader through the various panels. The new edition provides contextual information printed on a textile cover that unwraps in layers.
Read a blog post by Tara Books — The Cloth of the Mother Goddess: From Ritual Art to Cloth Book — that comprehensively explores the making and makers behind the second edition of this votive textile book. Includes a short video that shows how the book unfolds.
Tara Books, Second edition, limited edition of 500, block-printed on cloth, 10 × 10 in, 24 panels.
Tara Books is an award-winning, internationally-recognized independent publishing house made up of a collective of writers, designers and book artisans who favor a non-hierarchical mode of functioning, informed by feminism and other movements for social justice.
Founded in 1994 by Gita Wolf and based in Chennai, India, Tara Books runs its own print shop, employing over 25 bookmaking artisans on a fair-trade basis.
Known for their handmade books, they use handmade paper and non-toxic inks to create numbered artists’ books, as well as art prints and unique stationery (we also carry their wonderful Flukebooks!) They collaborate with a range of writers, artists and designers from lndia and elsewhere, and an integral part of their publishing is a pioneering engagement with the rich diversity of Indian folk and tribal art.