If you’ve ever lived in Vellore and travelled on the 2-route you’d have seen the men and women who magically weave coconut husk fibres in to thick strong coir rope. Opposite the Christian Counselling Centre at Sainathapuram, these families have been here for more than 30 years. Is this another dying art or can this cottage industry stand the test of time and technology? When we were at home this holiday I had to capture their twirling, whirling weaving art on camera just in case it disappeared any time soon.
The coconut husk fibres are attached to hooks on a spinning wheel (which is fixed in to the ground). The spinning action, done by hand, twists the fibres around tightly as the woman feeds more fibres in to it. This feeding action looks simple but it takes an expert hand and a light touch. She makes it look so easy but it ain’t. These ropes are incredibly strong and the fibres do not get entangled.
Coir rope making is a small scale cottage industry in the South of India, especially Kerala, and in Srilanka that families engage in. It’s a sight I’ve been seeing almost everyday of my childhood as I rode the town bus to school. One of those unique sights that reminds me of Vellore.