© 2019

Perspectives on Work, Home, and Identity From Artisans in Telangana

Conversations Around Craft


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Chandan Bose
    Pages 1-57
  3. Chandan Bose
    Pages 59-88
  4. Chandan Bose
    Pages 89-134
  5. Chandan Bose
    Pages 209-256
  6. Chandan Bose
    Pages 257-299
  7. Chandan Bose
    Pages 301-306
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 307-311

About this book


Providing an ethnographic account of the everyday life of a household of artisans in the Telangana state of southern India, Chandan Bose engages with craft practice beyond the material (in this case, the region's characteristic murals, narrative cloth scrolls, and ritual masks and figurines). In situating the voice of the artisans themselves as the central focus of study, simultaneous and juxtaposing histories of craft practice emerge, through which artisans assemble narratives about work, home, and identity through multiple lenses. These perspectives include: the language artisans use to articulate their experience of materials, materiality, and the physical process of making; the shared and collective memory of practitioners through which they recount the genealogy of the practice; the everyday life of the household and its kinship practices, given the integration of the studio-space and the home-space; the negotiations between practitioners and the nation-state over matters of patronage; and the capacities of artisans to both conform to and affect the practices of the neo-liberal market.


critical ethnography material culture contemporary craft craft historiography knowledge systems creative economies curatorial practice South Asia India Telangana

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Liberal ArtsIndian Institute of TechnologyHyderabadIndia

About the authors

Chandan Bose is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India. He researches and publishes on material practices and knowledge systems amongst artisanal communities in India.

Bibliographic information


“The book is a valuable addition to the frugal materials available on the contemporary sociology/social anthropology of Indian craft, both at home and abroad. … The book’s sale and publicity, we are assured, will give the artiste back her agency. No better reason than this to buy, read and recommend this painstakingly scholarly yet passionate book.” (Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 54 (1), 2020)

“The detailed explanation of usage of technologies and the nuances used by the practitioner, inputs into how to sit while painting and how to hold the brushes provides the know-how of the art of patam-pradarshankatha, making the book a useful tool to many. … the crux of the book which is a pleasure to read, especially for those who are fascinated towards crafts, anthropology and ancient arts forms.” (Telangana Today, June 30, 2019)