Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Kerang, a waist cloth made of bark string, is the first ‘Exhibit of the Week’ of the month at social media pages of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), Bhopal.
The museum collected the exhibit from the Parenga community of Koraput, Odisha in 1995. The maximum length and width are 99cm and 51cm.
Kerang is an inseparable cultural entity of Gadaba and Parenga women. It is also a mark of origin of clothes among some tribal people of Koraput and Malkangiri district of Odisha. It was compulsory for a woman to wear and to weave this skirt after achievement of her puberty.
The fibre from Kerang (Calotropis gigantea), a deciduous shrub, is used as a major element to weave Kerang. The cutting of shrubs with the help of a small knife is done by the women. To make the fibre strong they bury the small branches under the stream or the mud for a few days. It is then allowed to be exposed to the sunlight.
The soft branches thus collected are beaten against a stone with a wooden mallet to obtain fibre. The fiber is beautifully coloured by the different vegetable and natural dyes. The dried fibres are then polished and rolled to prepare yarn and weaving is done on their small indigenous loom.
Visitors can see the exhibit from home through the Official site (https://igrms.com/wordpress/?page_id=4068) and Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/NationalMuseumMankind), Instagram and twitter page of the museum.
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