Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brahmin mother with her children
in Jaisalmer Fort, India
       Here in Jaisalmer most of the fort’s inhabitants are of the Brahmin caste. Their homes are tucked away in the curves and hollows of the 99 bastions forming the walls of the fort.
       Invited into one of the dwellings, we stepped across the threshold into a cool dark and immaculately clean room. The ceiling was low with a burnished surface of cow dung and red clay. The stone floor gleamed. Hand-crafted shelves made from sturdy branches dipped in whitewash, cradled the family’s treasured brass vessels. Stacked almost to the ceiling in one corner of the main room was the night bedding, folded into squares, each corner matching exactly the one below.

A solid gold choker, a Brahmin woman's dowry upon marriage
       Upon leaving we were invited to linger awhile with grandma and her beautiful daughter attired in a green sari emblazoned with gold stitched symbols.  Sitting companionably together on the entrance steps we sipped black coffee from small china cups.
       On the walkway in front of us, piglets, striped, spotted and plain, screeched and squealed as they wallowed delightedly in puddles coated with an oily black effluent and children ran alongside anyone with a camera, hands outstretched pleading for "Rupee for a good boy" or "Pen please".
Photos copyright Anne Gordon
Posted by Anne Gordon on Wednesday, 7th December, 2011


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