A village home in rural Guwahati, we were there predominantly to see the handlooms still being used and how they are being kept relevant in today’s market, which is dominated with machine made items. There are around 120 home looms still operating in this region.
But what struck me, along with the cleanliness of these village homes, which no longer surprises me, was firstly, the practicality of everything in the house. Everything had a purpose, and was either homemade from natural products, recycled or at least was multiuse.
The house itself was made from mud and cow dung, the windows from bamboo, the charkha (aka Gandhi’s spinning wheel) fashioned from an old bicycle wheel, yes, the cotton is hand-spun at home from which the items are weaved. The cane fishing baskets were home-made, the cobbled together pigeon box (a local delicacy in these parts apparently), for readily available fresh meat, in the absence of electricity and fridges.
Then from the outside I noticed and old (in our world an antique) water dispenser. It had come from the lady’s grandmother, she kept it because it kept the water cool. They filled it from the adjacent metal bucket with fresh water drawn from the well.
In the kitchen, all the utensils were metal, plates, drinking vessels (can one call them glasses if they are not?), storage jars etc. The fire was fuelled from wood…
The only plastic items were 2 plastic bags which had a purpose and the plastic table cloth. I don’t think it is because our lady was an eco warrior, she has no time for that, she has probably never even heard the expression. No, all of the above is just how things used to be.
To me, a visit to this home showcased the incredible skillset the rural populations have, and the knowledge they have of nature and not just survival but surviving on what they have. So few people in this day and age appreciate this and we are therefore losing so much valuable knowledge and so many essential skills in this modern world we deem to be progressive.
To discover this region in the Indian Experiences way, contact https://curtaincalladventures.com/