Grinding Stories

A book documenting folk songs sung by married women in Goa.

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Grinding Stories is a book that primarily documents the songs sung by four women aged over eighty in north Goa. The songs, passed on through oral tradition, are sung as women grind grain. The songs address the lives that women lead after their marriage; expressing emotions of love, longing, anger, and sisterhood. The lyrics of these songs are composed in a mixed dialect influenced by Marathi, Kannada, and Konkani. The book also incorporates the stunning visuals of Kaavi murals that are particular to the temples in areas of Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

In designing this book, I was assisting Dr. Nina Sabnani with the visual work. The images had to be sourced from a visual archive of Kaavi mural art. The songs, collected by the author had to have imagery that would illustrate their themes appropriately. It was important that the book convey an expressive and poetic quality - integral to the songs in the book. 

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The endpapers of the book once opened.

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The layout of the contents page.

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This is my favorite spread in the book for the poem, Sisters at the Door. 

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A detail of a page featuring a song about the grinding stone.

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A repetitive pattern of bangles, sourced from circular Kaavi patterns.

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A Kaavi image of a man, signifying the husband from the song 'A Husband like the Bright Sun'.

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A detail of a peacock perched at the bottom of a page.

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An image of a tree sourced from a Kaavi mural.

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