Paper is undeniably a vehicle for the flowering of Indian art, literature, history and religion, but where did it come from? Who made it and how? What was their inspiration? How has this ancient craft survived in today's India?
Comprehensive and detailed, this book traces the nearly thousand-year history of hand paper-making in India. Illustrated with numerous colour photographs, the story is revealed through India’s visual art: books, miniatures, drawings, scrolls, talismans, papier mache and folk papers. Interwoven with religion, political conquest and repression; the discovery of papermaking ruins; and formulas, methods and memories and migration routes recalled by kagazi, the traditional papermaking families, Gifts of Conquerors creates a rich historic picture not seen before.
The range of papers produced and the ancient methods of paper recycling are also described in this book. List of papermakers throughout India, recipes and methods and a bibliography make this book a rich resource for libraries, historians, artists, paper devotees, crafts people, bibliophiles and collectors.
Alexandra Soteriou is an American anthropologist and papermaker, who began exploring India’s paper legacy in 1985. She has written articles, curated exhibits, lectured and exhibited her own work worldwide. Currently, she is President of World Paper Inc.