The Spinning Threads of Tradition

Everything you need to know about Ponduru Sarees:

Ponduru is an old tale from ancient times, this tale has existed since spinning yarn was first discovered. The women and men who make these sarees recollect their stories as ‘somewhat hazy’. Srikakulam a district in Andhara Pradesh India is where this old tale took birth. Most of these artist remember learning the skill from their mothers, making the tradition even more personal. They remember spinning thread of tradition, something they also consider their religions folklore on charkha’s that are almost seven decades old. The process and richness of the manufacturing process itself is what makes each piece an intricately woven story, a part of history combined with a part of the artist’s memories. Which also means each time you where a Ponduru saree, you are practically wearing someone’s life bewitchingly woven into cloth.

What Ponduru means to its manufactures:

Ponduru is celebrated as one of the finest khadi, it also renowned as a symbol of independence. Independence with regards to a small community making a mark for themselves in the vast universe. The making of these sarees is celebrated because the hard work, creativity and tradition that goes into making them.

The actual manufacturing of a Ponduru saree:

The actual process of manufacturing them involves traditional villagers to come together and create a masterpiece on their own, a masterpiece they pour their heart and experience into. Their pride simply lies in this hand made craft by spinning and and separating cotton for hours. The villagers often referred as underrated artist can produce art that no one else ever could even if they tried. Its almost like if you weren’t born into it, you could never inculcate the respect for tradition that they encompass.

The emotional resonance of Ponduru sarees for its manufactures:

For them these sarees aren’t just simple designs, its so much more. It’s a reminder of how women broke boundaries to provide for their families, a story that’s made them who they are today, and an attribute and talent they will pass on to the next generation. The tradition of threads and spinning runs so deep in their blood so much so that every street in Mugivani, Ponduru open’s with the infamous Gandhi chakra. Even though the awareness about this art and talent has slowly evaporated, those who are aware of it describe it as musicians playing violin piece with utmost sentient. This reverent comparison comes from how the women sit on a floor made of cement, holding cotton in one hand moving it back and forth.

Lessons to be learnt from the Ponduru women:

When the women of the village were asked about their craft they seemed to describe it in a way that makes you want to step back and reconfigure what your life means in the 20 th centaury. Especially when man seems to indulge in to things that provide temporary satisfaction and absolutely zero richness to life in its true sense. They explain the process as simple, patient and elegant. They truly believe they have unlimited patience because of how patiently each weaver had to moil their trade and their art. Even more spinning also resonates as unlimited faith to each and everything. It’s a true example of how the thread of tradition and the thread of Swaraj is the work of someone who serves God with a greater purpose. Gandhi looked at spinning cotton as a method of making the poor self- contained. Forever holding that as legacy and a way of life the villagers relentlessly work at their craft bridging the past and future. So remember, each time you put on a Ponduru saree you are putting on pride, patience, history and also work done in the name of god.

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