Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Assam - The Day Before the Workshop
We arrived in Assam in the morning. For this workshop our team consists of two: Charllotte and Shirley. It is an exciting time and we are anxious to see the dyeing set-up. The jeep heads in the opposite direction however, where a substantial opening reception and official welcome has been prepared. There are politicians, university professors, and local dignitaries. There are speeches, and photos. There are no weavers, spinners, or artisans. While unexpected it was not a surprise; trying not to appear ingracious what we really want to do is get to the village and see the pots. The university had anticipated that we would spend the entire day with them and found it a little hard to believe that the village had organized a complete workshop with foreign experts. For us the most important objective was to get the knowledge into the hands of the village.
As exciting as speeches were, we were not to be waylaid. And so ... to the village. Here it quickly became evident that the signs were good (see the above photo) but the dyeing resources we had asked to be assembled were nowhere to be found. What they knew was yarn and the yarn was ready. The most beautiful piles of exotic threads, prepared and waiting. But no pots, no dyes, no fires, and no drying lines.
One of the great advantages of India is how quickly a large team of people can materialize out of nowhere. Soon we had people digging pits for fires, assembling piles of fuel, collecting buckets and most importantly pots. We don't know what they used to cook with all week because we soon had each and every large pot in the village.