Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

mekhala construction

Expand Messages
  • Jim and Andi
    Hey everyone, So, suddenly I am obsessed with making a mekhala. I want to pore over books until I find an entire outfit that I like and try to make the entire
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 1 6:27 PM
      Hey everyone,

      So, suddenly I am obsessed with making a mekhala. I want to pore over
      books until I find an entire outfit that I like and try to make the
      entire outfit, or come as close as I can, instead of making *this*
      mekhala to go with *that* choli to do with *that* headdress from three
      different paintings/sculptures.

      I have Dress and Jewelry of Women: Satavahana to Kakatiya by Uma
      Maheshwari at home, and the few sculptures and paintings on the list
      webpage and the Biyari page. Anyone have suggestions for other books
      of paintings or sculptures from about this period? Lakshmi, I'm
      looking at your bibliography... any one book better than others?
      Everything else I have is Northern and LP.

      Other than the short decription from the Shilappadikaram, anyone come
      across literary references to the construction of a mekhala? I'd like
      to make this as accurate a construction as possible, hopefully for an
      A&S entry.

      Madhavi
    • Jim and Andi
      So, I went and searched the archives for mekhala and we sure have discussed these darn things alot. Has anyone ever actually completed one? With pictures?
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 1 6:52 PM
        So, I went and searched the archives for "mekhala" and we sure have
        discussed these darn things alot. Has anyone ever actually completed
        one? With pictures?

        Madhavi
      • jill@faizeh.com
        I did finish one, but I m too embarassed to share it, because it looks like a second grader did it. I intend to try again. :) ~Faizeh ... From: Jim and Andi
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 2 1:07 PM
          I did finish one, but I'm too embarassed to share it, because it looks like a second grader did it.  I intend to try again.  :)
           
          ~Faizeh
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Saturday, April 01, 2006 7:52 PM
          Subject: [SCA_India] more mekhala musings

          So, I went and searched the archives for "mekhala" and we sure have
          discussed these darn things alot. Has anyone ever actually completed
          one? With pictures?

          Madhavi




        • Jim and Andi
          May I ask you some questions about how you constructed it? Were you trying to copy a mekhala from a paintings or sculpture, or create your own design? My idea
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 3 8:20 AM
            May I ask you some questions about how you constructed it? Were you
            trying to copy a mekhala from a paintings or sculpture, or create your
            own design?

            My idea for construction is to make a fabric base interlined with
            something sturdy like canvas, then sew on the rows of pearls and glass
            beads, and maybe use stone cabochons since gold or precious gems are
            wayyy out of my budget. I have also thought about taking apart
            thrift-store necklaces for metal findings like plaques.

            Madhavi

            jill@... wrote:
            > I did finish one, but I'm too embarassed to share it, because it looks like a second grader did it. I intend to try again. :)
            >
            > ~Faizeh
          • LaRisa Allen
            ... I haven t finished one, but I did start one using this method. It seemed to work pretty well (I also incorporated plaques from a plaque belt) but I
            Message 5 of 14 , Apr 3 9:33 AM
              > My idea for construction is to make a fabric base interlined with
              > something sturdy like canvas, then sew on the rows of pearls and glass
              > beads, and maybe use stone cabochons since gold or precious gems are
              > wayyy out of my budget. I have also thought about taking apart
              > thrift-store necklaces for metal findings like plaques.

              I haven't finished one, but I did start one using this method. It
              seemed to work pretty well (I also incorporated plaques from a plaque
              belt) but I abandoned it because I wasn't happy with how it was
              turning out (design wise, construction was fine.)
              I've been trying to pull together a set of examples of simpler forms
              of mekhala, since it seems like the really wide, jewelled types are
              mostly seen on Goddess figures. One of my favorite "simple mekhala"
              looks like a length of thick "snake chain"with an ornamental clasp
              (The picture of the statue in question is the one I use on my
              website's opening page: http://www.generalism.net/sca/ Unfortunately
              you can't see much detail from that version.)

              Bhairavi

              --
              http://www.generalism.net/
            • Becca Damour
              ... Just a thought, Have you thought of using buckram instead of canvas? (I used to make Elizabethan hats so I have a bunch of it a bout and try to use it in
              Message 6 of 14 , Apr 3 10:14 AM
                >
                > My idea for construction is to make a fabric base
                > interlined with
                > something sturdy like canvas, then sew on the rows
                > of pearls and glass
                > beads, and maybe use stone cabochons since gold or
                > precious gems are
                > wayyy out of my budget.

                Just a thought, Have you thought of using buckram
                instead of canvas? (I used to make Elizabethan hats
                so I have a bunch of it a bout and try to use it in
                anything Indian) It might make the belt lighter. You
                can pick up single ply buckram at a jo-ann's or other
                local fabric store. Would love to see pictures when
                your finished.
                Good luck
                Kananbala

                __________________________________________________
                Do You Yahoo!?
                Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                http://mail.yahoo.com
              • unclrashid
                Not that I know anything about mekhalas, but I would be hesitant to use buckram on anything that directly contacted the body (hats only contact head at the
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 3 10:18 AM
                  Not that I know anything about mekhalas, but I would be hesitant to
                  use buckram on anything that directly contacted the body (hats only
                  contact head at the "edge") becaues buckram's stiffness comes from
                  starch and it will turn into paste if you sweat on it.

                  Rashid

                  --- In SCA_India@yahoogroups.com, Becca Damour <lady_kate_m@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > >
                  > > My idea for construction is to make a fabric base
                  > > interlined with
                  > > something sturdy like canvas, then sew on the rows
                  > > of pearls and glass
                  > > beads, and maybe use stone cabochons since gold or
                  > > precious gems are
                  > > wayyy out of my budget.
                  >
                  > Just a thought, Have you thought of using buckram
                  > instead of canvas? (I used to make Elizabethan hats
                  > so I have a bunch of it a bout and try to use it in
                  > anything Indian) It might make the belt lighter. You
                  > can pick up single ply buckram at a jo-ann's or other
                  > local fabric store. Would love to see pictures when
                  > your finished.
                  > Good luck
                  > Kananbala
                  >
                  > __________________________________________________
                  > Do You Yahoo!?
                  > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                  > http://mail.yahoo.com
                  >
                • Gypsy Raihana
                  Please be gentle with me, my knowledge of period pieces is very very limited as I am still learning, however. Since I dance I was immediately attracted to the
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 3 10:30 AM

                    Please be gentle with me, my knowledge of period pieces is very very limited as I am still learning, however…

                     

                    Since I dance I was immediately attracted to the mekhala. I am planning to make a modernized one for dance using the piece from Kama Sutra A Tale of Love as a guide. I am sure it’s probably not period, since most movies are not historically researched all that well, but it will work for my purposes.

                     

                    I plan on doing my construction by actually stringing the beads to form the fabric of the piece (of course I will need to string it with a VERY strong thread). I have sketched out the design but have yet to collect my materials or start on it since I have an embroidery piece to finish first. I don’t know if this will work for what you are doing or if it would be period. I do have clips of the outfit from the movie if you want to examine it’s construction.

                     

                    I am watching this topic with lots of interest!

                     

                    Raihana

                     


                    From: SCA_India@yahoogroups.com [mailto: SCA_India@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Jim and Andi
                    Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 10:20 AM
                    To: SCA_India@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [SCA_India] more mekhala musings

                     

                    May I ask you some questions about how you constructed it? Were you
                    trying to copy a mekhala from a paintings or sculpture, or create your
                    own design?

                    My idea for construction is to make a fabric base interlined with
                    something sturdy like canvas, then sew on the rows of pearls and glass
                    beads, and maybe use stone cabochons since gold or precious gems are
                    wayyy out of my budget. I have also thought about taking apart
                    thrift-store necklaces for metal findings like plaques.

                    Madhavi

                    jill@... wrote:
                    > I did finish one, but I'm too embarassed to share it, because it looks like a second grader did it.  I intend to try again.  :)
                    >
                    > ~Faizeh


                  • LaRisa Allen
                    This was my first thought as well. It would also stretch as it got warmed/steamed by your body and rapidly lose its size. Bhairavi ... --
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 3 10:37 AM
                      This was my first thought as well. It would also stretch as it got
                      warmed/steamed by your body and rapidly lose its size.

                      Bhairavi

                      On 4/3/06, unclrashid <unclrashid@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Not that I know anything about mekhalas, but I would be hesitant to
                      > use buckram on anything that directly contacted the body (hats only
                      > contact head at the "edge") becaues buckram's stiffness comes from
                      > starch and it will turn into paste if you sweat on it.
                      >
                      > Rashid


                      --
                      http://www.generalism.net/
                    • Jill
                      I m doing something similar to what Raihana is doing, though I ve not yet collected the glass beads that I want to use, I did find a good deal on a bunch of
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 3 8:03 PM
                        I'm doing something similar to what Raihana is doing, though I've not
                        yet collected the glass beads that I want to use, I did find a good
                        deal on a bunch of fake pearls that don't look too plastic, and I have
                        several findings from old costume jewelry and metal belts that I
                        thought might work.

                        My plan was to have no backing at all, and accomplish the layers of
                        beading by threading it through spacer bars, so it would be more of a
                        beaded belt, though I do hope to make it pretty wide. Nothing backed
                        by documentation, just my impression when looking at the statues.

                        Of course this project has been on my to do list for a couple of years
                        now and I've still not done it. :-/

                        Zebeebah
                      • susanlugrin
                        Couldn t find any pictures or how-to instructions but lots of description: From DiscoverIndia on the Mauryan women: Women, in addition, wore girdle called
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 4 12:45 PM
                          Couldn't find any pictures or how-to instructions but lots of description:
                          From DiscoverIndia on the Mauryan women:
                          Women, in addition, wore girdle called mekhala, a hip belt of multi-stringed beads,
                          originally made from the red seed kaksha but now made of gold and silver beads, with
                          shapes ranging from round to square and oval. Dancing girls added on to these, chains of
                          gold and silver to which bells were attached.
                          From DiscoverIndia on Late Satavahana or Andhra period
                          Jewelled girdles of one or many strings, mekhala, were worn only by women. These were
                          made in several varieties from the tinkling kanci with bells to the rasana style made of a
                          linked chain or strung with pearls, beads or precious stones. These girdles, besides being
                          very attractive, held up the lower garment or antariya.
                          From Costuming from the Hip
                          In India as early as 200 B.C. the key focal garment of female dress was the mekhala,
                          Sanskrit for girdle. The mekhala appears throughout the history of Indian clothing as a
                          metal belt with loops of hanging chain, pearls, beads and precious stones.
                          From gaudiyadiscussions
                          In fascination, Citra-devi places a golden mekhala* over Radha's nitamba* tying it in place
                          with a golden thread. This colored belt is inlaid with jewels that have red, white, blue,
                          yellow and green silken tassles hanging from it.
                          From The Inner Meaning Of Bhajanas
                          Nitamba-bimba-lambamana-puspa-mekhala-gune [Your rounded hips are decorated with
                          dangling flowers and tiny tinkling jeweled-bells hang from the flower belt on your
                          charmingly slender waist].
                          From rudraksha-center
                          Initially, the girdles seem to have been composed of beads, including gold and silver. They
                          were followed by chains of gold and silver with little bells and were commonly used by
                          courtesans. Eventually it assumed an elaborate and expensive form of five, six,or seven
                          strings of gold beads.
                          The girdles(mekhala) used during the Chandella period were of different varieties: from a
                          simple string of beads, to elaborate girdles consisting of an ornate belt with a central
                          clasp worn on the waist. A more interesting feature in some of the girdles are the small
                          bells suspended with chains and hanging down the thighs in order to produce a rhythmic
                          tinkle when the wearer moved.

                          I want one too!
                          Cate
                        • Valerie J. Rose
                          All, Did my little show and tell last night, and it went very well. I did miss a bit in my speech by somehow losing my place, but the part I missed wasn t
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 5 10:10 AM
                            All,
                            Did my little show and tell last night, and it went very well. I did
                            miss a bit in my speech by somehow losing my place, but the part I missed
                            wasn't critical. The talk was on the basics only, due to time constraints,
                            and what I missed can easily go into a later talk if folks seem interested
                            enough.
                            My saris were also a big hit, and two ladies were brave enough to try
                            one on!:) They looked great too, and they were very impressed by that. My
                            famous red wedding sari, covered with golden embroidery, was shown with the
                            statement of it's cost ($300.00) and the announcement that I would be buried
                            in it when I die....my brother now swears that he will have to cremate me to
                            keep the ladies from digging me up to ge the sari <<grin>>. It made a *very*
                            good impression, and I was worred we'd have to clean drool off the floors.
                            And after showing the ones that were mentioned in the speech, the ladies
                            happily chattered about saris while digging through my stash of other saris.
                            I am hoping for enough interest for a future sari party.
                            And I am hoping some of them will join this list, and contact the other
                            sources I listed in the handout I gave out. Time will tell.:)

                            Valerie J. Rose
                            pooka@...
                          • Valerie J. Rose
                            ... From: Valerie J. Rose To: Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 1:10 PM Subject: Re: [SCA_India] Re: mekhala
                            Message 13 of 14 , Apr 5 6:07 PM
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "Valerie J. Rose" <pooka@...>
                              To: <SCA_India@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 1:10 PM
                              Subject: Re: [SCA_India] Re: mekhala construction


                              > All,
                              > Did my little show and tell last night, and it went very well.

                              My apologies! I forgot to change the subject line when I sent my last
                              message. I will send it again, corrected.

                              > Valerie J. Rose
                              > pooka@...
                            • bethlakshmi
                              ... your ... glass ... I ve done one, but I don t think I have any pictures of me wearing it... or even it on it s own... I ll try to take some if I can get
                              Message 14 of 14 , Apr 8 10:15 AM
                                --- In SCA_India@yahoogroups.com, Jim and Andi <icbhod@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > May I ask you some questions about how you constructed it? Were you
                                > trying to copy a mekhala from a paintings or sculpture, or create
                                your
                                > own design?
                                >
                                > My idea for construction is to make a fabric base interlined with
                                > something sturdy like canvas, then sew on the rows of pearls and
                                glass
                                > beads, and maybe use stone cabochons since gold or precious gems are
                                > wayyy out of my budget. I have also thought about taking apart
                                > thrift-store necklaces for metal findings like plaques.
                                >

                                I've done one, but I don't think I have any pictures of me wearing
                                it... or even it on it's own... I'll try to take some if I can get
                                my act together after traveling.

                                This is what I did - heavy cotton duck base with a overlayer of
                                black/red shot silk as the thing you could see. I made a waist band
                                with hooks in the back that would hang just a bit lower than my actual
                                waist - like a hip hugging jeans belt would. As I was imitating
                                Vijayagara images, I then constructed more, lower hanging bands the
                                same way. The upper belt is ~2" wide, the lower swags are more like
                                1" wide.

                                I attached the lower swags to the middle of the back of the main
                                belt. This have them a look alot like the pictures I was imitating,
                                but they also have an unfortunate leg bondage effect when I'm
                                dancing. They work OK if I stay in aramundi or puramundi - the two
                                squatting positions of Bharata Naytam - but they lock my legs together
                                as soon as I stand up in to samamundi. Middle Eastern is a little
                                better, since you don't often leave the basic stance. But it's still
                                got some locking issues.

                                If I make another, I will probably aim to put the swags more to the
                                sides and less in the back to avoid this problem.

                                I ornamented it with bits from dance belts I've collected along the
                                way. I had grabbed two dance belts way back when that looked kinda
                                sorta like mekhala, but had their own functional issues. I dissected
                                them and sewed them onto the red/black bands and added sead pearls
                                since sead pearls go with everything. :)

                                This is pretty Viyanagara looking, though. It's quite a bit different
                                from the earlier eras, the way the ornaments swag around the legs is
                                quite different.

                                Of the earlier mekhalas - http://www.pir.net/~beth/Clothing/ - is one
                                of my all time favorites. Followed closely by
                                http://www.pir.net/~beth/Clothing/ Looking closely at them, I'd say
                                that they may just be all string beads, rather than using fabric
                                bases. But I think working with a base would be a ton easier.

                                I think both these images came from "Dancing to the Flute" - which
                                isn't particularly costuming specific - it's a good overall look at
                                dancers, music and dance in art in India.

                                -Lakshmi
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.