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The Kottan: The Palmyra Basket of Chettinad Hardcover – 2013
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The Kottan: The Palmyra Basket of Chettinad not only showcases the finest basket weaving tradition of the region, but also serves as an important record of the traditional techniques of kottan basketry that were languishing for decades – till Visalakshi Ramaswamy through the M.Rm.Rm. Cultural Foundation undertook the task of reviving the craft. The book explores the journey of the beautiful Kottan from its role as a hobby craft in the Chettiar community, to its disappearance and revival. It brings out the history of the Kottan and its traditional uses, details the weaving process and materials, and includes comprehensive design documentation. The intensive revival process and the circumstances of the craftspeople of today complete the story of the Kottan. Awards, international recognition, the Geographical Indications tag and an extensive clientele now ensure that the Kottan today has found a place in the contemporary home: a happy ending to a near tragic tale. Visalakshi Ramaswamy's vivid recollections of the Kottan in her youth enrich the narrative. The extensive documentation of designs and painstakingly illustrated techniques give the book archival status. The book is organized into ten richly illustrated chapters, complete with accompanying text and line drawings of the basket making process, a glossary, and over five hundred colour illustrations of traditional and contemporary baskets. The book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in craft, culture and design, and will be indispensable to craftspeople, academics and designers alike.
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