After the conquest of Bengal in 1757, the British East India Company had a monopoly on the production and export of opium from India. Bengal and Bihar were producers of opium. The company initially purchased opium through local traders. Opium was sold at auctions in Calcutta. From Calcutta opium was then taken to Canton in China.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Sunday, January 19, 2014
This is a clay votive from Molela, a village of terracotta workers in the Rajsamand district (southern Rajasthan, near Nathdwara / Udaipur). The votives contain motifs and stories related to tribal legends and gods. They are also sold at other festivals in Rajasthan.
They use brown clay from the riverbed, combined with geru (red clay), yellow clay and ash. The binding agent is primarily dung from cows, donkeys and goats. Cowdung and dried cactus are used as fuel to bake the terracotta.
This article has a good set of explanations with photos: http://rajsamand.nic.in/molela.pdf
Here's a map Deepa made showing how to get to this village: http://goo.gl/maps/XmBSE
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Today is Thai Pongal, South Indian Harvest Festival where the tradition is to thank the Sun God. A small fire is lit in an open space facing the East (Sun rising direction) decorated with kolam, flowers, mango leaves. Then a pot of milk is boiled and the head of the family will put rice and jaggery in it (saying a small prayer). Finally we have delicious pongal...served !!