EP 257 . 29 Nov 22

Who is the pot?

With Sangeeta Jawla

In the episode

  1. How & why did we discover pot? Or did we invent it? What were the initial forms made of?Clay? How did the pot look long time ago?
  2. Can you talk a little bit about the narratives around the title of the potters. Who is/was a Prajapati or Khumbhar? How did these words come to be?
  3. Pot seem to have come with us a long way. It has connected many things. Could you tell few important milestones in it’s journey so far? For eg: The tools, the donkey, the gender and caste aspect? Music and songs
  4. Pot is used a lot in philosophy. Seems like some profound questions are either asked or answered through pot. In Vedanta, Clay and pot example is used many times. Can you talk a little bit about the process of making a pot and the analogies we have in our life? (Beating the clay, baking etc…)
  5. What kind of pots were / are made and what are the stories inscribed on them? Any key iconic stories which are found?
  6. Can you tell us about the project that you did – “Who is the pot?”

About Sangeeta Jawla

In episode # 244, Sumana Chandrashekar spoke about History of Ghatam. Immediately after the episode was released, Sangeeta Jawla connected and suggested that we could have done a pre-cursor to the Ghatam episode and document the “pot”. Well, better late then never. Today we have Sangeeta with us on Audiogyan to talk about the clay as a material and it’s history through stories and folklores.

Sangeeta is a research scholar, a practicing potter and a storyteller. She engraves the potters’ folk narratives (collected all across India) on the clay canvas. The visual depiction of the potter’s folk and real-life narratives help us understand the community’s folklore, social relations and material culture differently. Additionally, as a woman practitioner, she also focus on the question of women agency, since in most traditional potter communities women are not allowed to touch the wheel, even while they fully engage with all other aspects of pottery production, from preparing clay to decorating to selling. We’ll try and document few stories and a brief history of clay intersecting from mythology to ecology and more…