Monday, February 29, 2016

ENAKSHI BHAVNANI AND KASHMIR


                                                                        



FRIDAY PRAYERS AT HAZARATBAL SRINAGAR.. 1950
(A PHOTOGRAPH BY ENAKSHI BHAVNANI)

WHO IS THIS ENAKSHI BHAVNANI ?

Not many of us know that Enakashi Bhavnani  ( Enakshi Rama Rao  before her marriage ) has done an enormous service to expose Indian dances and Designs to West. No lesser is her contribution to expose Kashmir Crafts and Designs ( Fabric , Wood and Papier Mache ) to west. I was told by an American Tourist in Kerala recently about her detailed work on kashmir Designs ( shawls , Jackets , Namdas and carpets etc ) . I was ignorant about this side of Enakshi's personality and work. I knew her contribution as a Dancer, photographer and actress only.Two scholarly Books written by Enakshi Bhavnani were also made known to me . Both the books are preserved in American Museum of Natural History.These are ..

(1) Folk And Tribal Designs of India
(2) The Dance of India: The Origin and History Foundation, Art and Science of the Dance in India .

I was told that this exceptionally talented woman stayed in kashmir for  sometime in 1950 and met cross section of people connected with Arts and Crafts . She had been a  visitor thereafter as well . She also visited Leh and kargil for her Book. During this period she also clicked some photographs in kashmir portraying its rich culture and scenic beauty.She also shot a Documentary “ VALE OF KASHMIR “ during this period..
Enakshi was an active member of the Crafts Council of India, which was founded in 1964 to support artisans and keep their crafts relevant and marketable amid rapidly changing economies at home and abroad..

And in her book on folk dances of India , Enakshi covers all forms of kashmirian folk dances .


Enakshi married film maker Mohan Bhavnanai ( 1903-1962 ) who was trained in Germany and Hollywood. She was a dancer , Actor , Photographer and  writer on Arts , Crafts and culture.  From 1939 to 1938,She  acted in six films as a leading lady . Out of these six films  five ( Vasantsena , Trapped ,Jagaran , Himalaya ki Beti  and Yungrilla ) were directed by her husband Mohan Bhavnani . Only Shiraz ( 1929 Produced by Himanshu Roy ) was directed by Franz Osten .
                                                                             
                                                                       ( Enakshi in 1929 movie  Shiraz )            

The  Photographs clicked by her  have also appeared in National Geographic Magazine especially her series"  A Journey to Little Tibbet 1951”


( Autar Mota )

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