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Kashmiri Shawl : From Jamavar to Paisley/Sherry Rehman and Naheed Jafri.
Ahmedabad, Mapin, 2006, 378 p., photographs, $125. ISBN 81-88204-19-6.
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"The Kashmiri shawl is rooted in a complex craft tradition that goes back at least five hundred years. Its uniqueness lies in a combination of factors that have made it virtually impossible to duplicate anywhere else. Imitations have abounded for centuries, but none has succeeded in producing the inimitable delicacy of warp and weft, of material and design that comprise the legendary beauty of the jamavar shawl. Enduring as a design classic that has grown out of an indelible local aesthetic, the shawl's appeal lies in its ability to represent continuity as well as change.
The Kashmiri Shawl is the story of this textile re-told through the prism of a South Asian perspective. The book realigns the design symbolism and technical evolution of the shawl to indigenous sources by emphasizing areas previously ignored in earlier histories. The shawl's origins in Kashmir, the rich vein of patronage it thrived on, its changing ornamental face, its regional variations in Persia and Punjab, its enormous impact on the European imagination, all combine to form a narrative shaped to engage both the general reader and the specialist.
The authors bring fresh clarity to the many myths that have arisen around the Kashmiri shawl on the South Asian trade circuit. They also elucidate most of the complexities in the Kashmiri shawl lexicon. Today, possessing one of these jewel-like collectables is like owning a tiny stake in the heritage of its many-layered cultural identities." (jacket)
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