On the banks of the Rāvi in 3000 B.C.

An Old World Cotton Love-story Anecdotal Encounters Carnelian Beads Indigo Indus Valley Civilisation Khaddar Love Story Madder Root Old World Cotton Phulkari Silk The Virsā Story

Ancient Punjab, site of The Indus Valley Civilisation. 

She eagerly awaited his return. He had been gone more than 45 moons and recent rain had swollen up the mighty river Rāvi. Her knee length skirt was dyed in red madder and so were her feet and hands stained in that warm red hue; perfect match for her ruddy cheeks and long flowing very dark hair. She held onto the *carnelian beads he had gifted her several years ago, a beautiful necklace still held together with cotton thread. She had learnt how to embroider pretty flowers on fabric she and his mother wove at home in Punjab. The daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law duo generally got along and were happy about the cotton harvest this season. It usually meant more seals, more vases and that strikingly beautiful pottery he brought from that land far far away. Mesopotamians spoke a language he didn’t understand and she wondered how they even traded with each other, but oh well! with a bit of sign language anything could be done, she thought to herself, especially if it was all about negotiating in salt, silk and seals. Thinking of silk her eyes lit up and she made a quick mental note of using some of their silkworms to get that shiny floss for her embroidery. Wool was good but felt too warm for this weather. She ran her fingers over the indigo-stained silk flowers on her skirt and sighed. She missed him so much!




*First evidence of cotton in Neolithic Mehrgarh, Pakistan: Analysis of mineralized fibers from Copper bead – by Christophe Moulherat, Margareta Tengberg, Jerome F Haquet and Benoit Mille. Research published in Journal of Archaeological Science (2002), 29, 1393-1401.    

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