Cover image for The sari
The sari
Banerjee, Mukulika.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford : Berg, [2003]

Physical Description:
vii, 277 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GT1460 .B36 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GT1460 .B36 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The sari is India's most iconic garment. This book explores its beauty, adaptability and personality, and shows why the sari has survived and, indeed, flourished when most of the world has adopted western clothing.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Banerjee and Miller, a lecturer and a professor, respectively, in the anthropology department at University College London, examine five meters of fabric in their intricate study. Their academic background is only bothersome in the unnecessary and distracting footnotes, whose information could have easily been incorporated into the text. Otherwise, it's an enthralling celebration, exploration and analysis-through women's voices-of India's most symbolic garment. The authors quickly explain that their book isn't a primer on colors, types, draping and tying; rather, it uses interviews and research to explore the relationship between women and their saris. It covers the traditions and politics of acquisition, whether by a girl, a bride-to-be or a maid receiving a hand-me-down from her mistress; of learning to wear it; of storage and cleaning; and of sexuality. These implications combine with ever-present practical considerations: "She must try to avoid the frequent injuries that arise from getting the sari caught in doors, machines, or worst of all, the stove. But to achieve social respectability, she must learn to move, drape, sit, fold, pleat and swirl the sari in an appropriate way." One chapter takes readers through an executive woman's morning sari decision making and how she creatively makes her selection with specific visual (and political) goals in mind. The women's stories enrich throughout, successfully and unforgettably bringing the sari alive. Banerjee and Miller have provided an intimate peek into the culture of Indian women, and their research shows that although the subject is specific to a particular culture, its concerns are universal to all women. Photos. (Oct. 27) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is an intimate visit to India using a garment as a vehicle to transport the reader. Rather than producing a catalog of specimens or a historical chronology, the authors have created a biography of the sari. In this charming and personable book, Banerjee (Pathan Unarmed) and Miller (the author and editor of several books on culture), who both teach anthropology at University College, London, look at the development of the sari and its styles, designs, and history. But the focus is on the personal impact of the sari on everyday women in India, illustrated through interviews and individual stories. The agony of how to pick a sari as a gift for your mother, the dressing dilemmas of a young lady new to the garment, saris in the workplace, and other anecdotal issues personalize the discussion of this simple garment. While this book is uniquely appealing, its use of specialized terminology can be distancing. Still, as a fascinating look at a garment consisting of six yards of fabric, this celebration of the sari is recommended for most libraries.-Karen Ellis, Nicholson Memorial Lib. Syst., Garland, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.