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HANDLOOM

Handloom Textiles constitute a timeless facet of the rich cultural Heritage of India in general and Kerala stands the lead. As an economic activity, the handloom sector occupies a place second only to agriculture in providing livelihood to the people. It is estimated that handloom industry provides employment to 65 lakh workforce directly and indirectly and there are about 35 lakh looms spread all over India.

A hand loom, or handloom, is any loom that is manually operated, unlike motorized or electrically powered looms. It is an apparatus on which weavers create fabric by interlacing the warp and weft threads. By providing tension on the warp threads, a hand loom enables the weaver to create cloth quicker and results in a more even weave. There are numerous types of hand looms, from simple, portable backstrap looms to complicated, room-sized jacquard looms. One of the simplest hand looms is the children's loom on which they weave loops of cloth into potholders.

In Kerala, a very large number of looms are located in rural areas. The rhythm of handloom can be heared in almost every village in kerala. There are men and women weavers for whom weaving is a way of life. In early days majority of handloom weavers followed the hereditary line. The main communities engaged in weaving are saliyas and devangas. With the available information it is clear that the saliyas and devangas migrated from the near by princely states.

Earlier they were producing cloth for their own consumption and for the need of their village. Increase in production and improvement in transport facilities removed the hindrance of time and eased the exchange of commodities. The skill of weaving has been passed from parents to children.

During 15th century British, French and Portuguese people visited kerala. They were attracted by the things like spices, ivory and beauty of handloom fabrics.

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They began to purchase large quantities and exported to their countries The 'Kerala kasavu sarees' are praised by the women all over India and across the world for their fineness of count and natural colours, texture and gold borders Kerala is also known for its unbleached cotton handloom crepe popularly known as 'kora' cloth this has entered in the foreign market and occupied a proud place in the garment industry.

The secret of furnishing fabrics from malabar is the excellent structure and texture of the cloth, unique colour combination, wide width (98"-120") and craft man ship. When we look back to the history of kerala it can be seen that in 1498 Vascodi Gama, the Portuguese navigator visited Calicut in Malabar. So it is well known that 15 th century handloom cloth of excellent qualities were exported to Asian and European countries. Kannur is called as 'the Manchester of Kerala'. The famous Kannur sports shirting, varieties like Crepe are the donation of this district. For export of handloom products Kerala mainly depending upon the products from Kannur. The main products are shirting, made-ups, jackquard, furnishing,turkish towels, sateen sheets, crepe such export oriented, and lungies earezha thorthu etc. for domestic purpose.

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KALARIPAYATTU

Kalari is a special kind of gymnasium, where the martial art Kalari Payattu is practiced. Kalari is the special training in 'Marma', the art of knowing and activating all the 107 energy points in the human body. These vital points (called marmas) are used for correcting the body's energy flows and replenishing its resources. Kalari therefore makes the practitioner not just a warrior but a self-healer, who can also help others with his healing powers.

‘A sound Mind in a sound body’. Kalari training of course enables one to attain a sound mind and a sound body.

Kalarippayattu is considered as the most comprehensive of all the martial art forms because of the following reasons:



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Kalari is an excellent system of physical training.


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Efficient self defense techniques - both armed and unarmed.


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A great system of vital pressure points based system of fighting and treatment.


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A comprehensive guide to attain flexibility and desired physical and mental strength


Advantages gained through practicing Kalarippayatu:



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Improves blood circulation and muscle functions.


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Strengthen muscles and promote its flexibility.


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Improves self confidence and mental agility.


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Helps to augment body balance and physical fitness.


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Improves the sportiveness.


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Helps to achieve self reliance.


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