Anthropology Seminar Series | Pallu Up: Fashioning Wifehood in and out of a Rajasthani Textile Printing Town
Anthropology Seminar Series:
Pallu Up: Fashioning Wifehood in and out of a Rajasthani Textile Printing Town
Speaker: Meherose Borthwick (University of Sydney)
Host: Dr Shiori Shakuto
Hybrid Event: A02 Room 441 and Zoom
3:00–5:00 PM (Sydney time, GMT+10)
My research focuses on women in a cloth printing cottage industry in Bagru, Rajasthan. For Chippa (printer caste) wives and other women working in the industry, their birthplace, location of marital home and socio-economic status before and after marriage, influences whether, and how freely, they move about outside the home and what they wear when they do. In this presentation I will explore how different forms of dress and dress practices are embodied expressions of kinship, caste, regional affiliation, and socio-economic status. These expressions were inhibited during the first year of the Covid epidemic, accompanied by further restrictions on leaving the marital home for recreation, shopping, and other reasons. I will show how traversing between different spaces inside and outside the town requires the ability to access certain kinds of dress, which in turn affirms (or not) Rajasthani sanskriti (culture), individual and collective style and strong kinship ties.
Meherose Borthwick is a doctoral candidate with the University of Sydney’s Department of Anthropology. Meherose undertook ethnographic research in Rajasthan, India from late 2020 to early 2021. Her research interests include consumption, labour, gender, craft, materiality, and the anthropology of fashion.