Know your Motifs


Motifs- "a decorative image or design, especially a repeated one forming a pattern" , "a dominant or recurring idea in an artistic work"- Google
Ever wondered what makes that saree you own extra special? or that kurta so desirable?It's usually the same things that make life a little more interesting - details.
What you wear you become!
Motifs have always played an important role in our garments. Not just a form of ornamentation, they carried a deeper meaning. Certain motifs were meant to bring luck to the wearer while in some cases would highlight a life event in the wearer's life.Take the example of the Peacock motif, used repeatedly for centuries and to this day considered to be a bird that brings good fortune and good tidings (also a sacred bird in some religions), a saree or garment with the motif was believed to bring luck to the wearer.
Motifs can be categorized into 4 types: Geometrical (Triangles, Squares, Circles etc), Natural (Animals, Fruits, Vegetables, Humans etc), Abstract (Without any particular relation a mix and match of objects) and Stylized (exaggeration of man-made objects).
Geometrical motifs were inspired by straight lines and objects, on our visits to the handloom centers, one can see a stark resemblance between motifs being woven and patterns found on the walls and corridors of forts and ruins in the surrounding area.
Motifs such as the 'Aam' or Mango, 'Kamal' or Lotus, 'Shankh' or Conch are inspired by nature. Again, each of these motifs represented an emotion or thought and was believed to be lucky for the wearer.
Our ancestors cared for the environment so dearly that they were proud to wear it on their sleeve (literally), today the language of motifs is changing too, Peacocks are being replaced by cameras, Mangoes are being replaced by lipsticks, maybe a sign of the times to come?That carefully handwoven motif holds within it a deeper meaning, its a reminder of where we've come from and where we are going.

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