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Embroidery, India

Tereza Kuldova


Currently working on a PhD thesis under the working title “Embroidering and Consuming Desirable Life: On the Ambivalences of Fashion and CEmbroidery India ontemporary India”, which is based on a long-term fieldwork in North India.

This research investigates the multiple relationships between the material and the social world, believing that our relationships with things are full-fledged relationships and as such are central for our understanding of society. The research sets out to explore these relationships through the lens of one particular type of commodity – traditional hand embroidery produced in Lucknow, North India (i.e. Chikan, traditionally a white on white embroidery). Focusing on the embroidered garments, a certain type of thing, and following this thing from the social and economic contexts of its production all the way to its consumption and showcase, it aims to understand the various and changing meanings this cultural artefact is endowed with on its way. It also attempts to gain insight into the social contexts and systems of knowledge in which Chikan acquires its various meanings. The research therefore explores what this commodity means for the social actors who daily interact with it. It takes us all the way from the historical Lucknow to the contemporary Lucknow, where the garments are produced and further to Delhi, where most of them are consumed, disposed off and re-consumed. It takes us on an imaginary journey of this commodity across the Indian social landscape, from the poor houses of its producers in Lucknow, to the homes of its well-off consumers in Delhi, a journey across contemporary India.Embroiderer India


Kuldova, Tereza (2009). Networks that Make a Difference: The Production of Social Cohesion in Lucknow, North India. Masteroppgave. Universitet i Oslo. Available at:


Kuldova, Tereza (2010). Research Report: Acting Out Class: On Mimicking, Mocking, Bollywood Stars and the Urban Indian Male. The Journal of Finnish Anthropological Society.

Kuldova, Tereza (2010). Things, mimesis, mirror neurons, Bollywood stars and the ‘brand-spanking’ new Indian middle-class. Antropress, November 2010.

Valo, Tessa (2009). Ties that Make a Difference: Investigating Peace. Between & Betwixt. Oslo. (published under pseudonym).

Kuldova, Tereza (2006). Hindové v diaspore: Konceptuální promeny v pojetí Hinduismu. (Hindus in Diaspora: conceptual changes in Hinduism). AntropoWEBZIN (3). (University of West Bohemia journal of social anthropology)

Book Reviews

Kuldova, Tereza (2010). Review: Hindi Film Songs and the Barriers between Ethnomusicology and Anthropology. Hindi Film Songs and the Cinema by Anna Morcom, 2007, Ashgate, ISBN 978-0-7546-5198-7.

Kuldova, Tereza (2009). Review: Presenting 2nd Generation Multi-Sited Ethnography. (ed.) Mark-Anthony Falzon. 2009. Multi-Sited Ethnography: Theory, Praxis and Locality in Contemporary Research. Ashgate.

Kuldova, Tereza (2009). Review: How Indissoluble is Hindu Marriage? Holden, Livia. 2008. Hindu Divorce: A Legal Anthropology. Ashgate.

Kuldova, Tereza (2009). Review: How neoliberalism reshapes motherhood in Calcutta. Donner, Henrike. (2008). Domestic Goddesses: Maternity, Globalization and Middle-Class Identity in Contemporary India. Ashgate.

Kuldova, Tereza (2009). Review: How the Ganges boatmen resist upper-caste and state domination? Doron, Assa. 2009. Caste, Occupation and Politics on the Ganges: Passages of Resistance. Ashgate.

Kuldova, Tereza (2010). Review: Religious globalization = Engaged cosmopolitanism? Book Review: Winged Faith: Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism Through the Sathya Sai Movement by Tulasi Srinivas, New York: Columbia University Press, 2010

Kuldova, Tereza (2010). Review: The Deep Footprints of Colonial Bombay. Kidambi, Prashant. 2007. The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890-1920. Ashgate.

Eriksen, Thomas Hylland (2007). Antropologie multikulturních spolecností: Rozumet identite. (Anthropology of Multi-cultural societies: understanding identity). Prague: Triton Books. (selection of articles by TH Eriksen, translated from Norwegian to Czech)