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Threads of memory : reproducing the cypress tree through sensual consumption.

Warin, M. and Dennis, S. (2005) 'Threads of memory : reproducing the cypress tree through sensual consumption.', Journal of intercultural studies., 26 (1-2). pp. 159-170.


This paper is concerned with the ways in which a group of Persian women, who have all fled Iran in the last two decades, give meaning to place and memory through the everyday practices of cooking and embroidery. While there are many different localised arts of patterning and flavour, we focus here on the recurring pattern of bota (the Cypress tree). In particular, we examine how the bota motif links both the making of domestic sweets and cloths, and is central in recalling and remaking a sense of place. The Cypress tree symbolises life: the continuation of life in place, and the continuation of place in life. In creating and consuming the bota motif, through eating, laying tablecloths, wrapping towels, sitting on cushions and drawing curtains, embodied experiences of landscape and relationships are reproduced. The embroidery items entail and occasion sensual engagement in and of themselves, and also serve as backgrounds for specific sensual engagements, including, for example, as tablecloths upon which food will be served. Engagement with the bota pattern cannot be characterised along strictly divided sensual dimensions. Rather, we argue that the senses are intertwined in a synaesthetic knot in which memory is embodied and reproduced.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Memory, Migration, Sensual consumption, Embodiment.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:06 Mar 2008
Last Modified:26 Nov 2009 12:19

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