¿Qué hacemos en Ixchel?

We have created this virtual place
to show you how knitted pieces
we are offering were done.
Wich were the techniques we used
on them and wich were the anthropological
motivations for each piece.

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: http://www.lamagiadeixchel.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 22, 2010

Textiles and material culture

Turning to the opposite side of the world, British conquerors were astonished at the wealth, culture, and sophisticated civilization of Bengal, which they regarded as one of the richest prizes in the world. The conqueror was Robert Clive⎯whose statue greets visitors to the Victoria museum in Kolkata (Calcuta), a memorial to British imperial violence and degradation of its subjects. Clive was amazed at what he found. He described the great textile center of Dacca, now the capital of Bangladesh, as “extensive, populous and as rich as the city of London.” After a century of British rule its population had fallen from 150.000 to 30.000, and it was reverting to jungle and malaria. Adam Smith wrote that hundreds of thousands die in Bengal every year as a result of British regulations that even forced farmers to “plough up rich fields of rice or other grain for plantations of poppies” for opium production, turning “dearth into a famine.” In the words of the rulers themselves, “The misery hardly finds a place in the history of commerce. The bones of the cotton-weavers are bleaching the plains of India.” Bengal´s own fine cotton became extinct, and its advanced textile production was transplanted to England. Bangladesh may soon be wiped out by rising sea levels, unless the industrial societes act decisively to control and reverse the likely environmental catastrophe they had been creating, joined now by China and other developing societes.

Noam Chomsky, Hopes and Prospects, 2010 Chicago, pages 14-15.

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