Video: Weaving Jaaii Flowers

During recent travels, I was visiting relatives in Honavar, Karnataka – a sleepy coastal town south of Kumta (see google map below). I had stopped by a family store to add money to my pre-paid cell phone. There, this older gentleman was weaving these delicate pink buds called jaaii-che kaLo. These buds only sprout after the monsoon rains (June – August), have a delicate fragrance and are highly sought after during the festival season in July-September. It was a simple, yet mesmerizingly beautiful weave and he agreed to let me record it on my flip video.
Based on a series of questions I ask him (on camera, in Konkani), he shows us a portion of the woven braid. All those buds will yield about 10 feet of braid and take him an hour to weave. Notice the thread, it is actually a fiber pulled from the bark of the banana tree and kept soaked in water. Very eco-friendly.

These braids will be sold in the marketplace (see Kumta marketplace) and usually end up in temples or family shrines. Women clip these or tuck them in their hair. The market rate for these braids is about Rs 50-Rs 100/ft ($1-$2/ft), but can be significantly higher during festival seasons. The beauty of the braids is in the buds; once they bloom the braids are considered done.

Here you see such Jaaii-kaLe braids offered to the Nฤg Devata at a small shrine in Kumta.
pic of Puja for Naga Devata with Jaaii Juhi flowers in Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

Few other Videos:

32 thoughts on “Video: Weaving Jaaii Flowers

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  1. Please tell me what’s the English name of this creeper. I am trying to find it in Bangalore but unable to ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . I want to plant this in my backyard.

  2. Pingback: Honavar Bunder | 123
  3. This was amazing. You took me back manny manny years back when my mom, brother and I used to go to Honavar to maternal grandmom’s place for summer vacations.


  4. Hi Arun,

    I am not new to your website. I am Maya’s friend. I am from Pune, right now in new york.
    I always see these wonderful articles/post from you. Just wanted to thank you for all wonderful memories!!!
    If I close my eyes, right away I will be under “Jai vel” in my pune’s home front yard. Literally I used to climb on roof to pick them up:)
    Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚ Regards to “M” and lots of luv to little “M”!!

    1. Hi Prajakta:
      Thank you for visiting and introducing yourself.

      Sorry, first for the delay in replying to you, and secondly for not been very forthcoming in new posts. Work and else takes a big chuck of my time and things are a bit crazy, particularly since I just returned from Mumbai.

      And lucky! you that you have a Jai-vel right in your front yard. Can you post pics of that?

      Hope you are enjoying NY! If you ever visit boston, I can give you tips for a quick visit.

      Thank you for luv to lil’ M!
      ~ my world is now divided in two kinds of people: those who ask about m and then the rest! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Enjoy NYC! btw, if you will be there in Nov, I am planning on running the NYC Marathon on Nov 7! Yaay!

  5. I love jai mogare.. During its season my dad buys it almost everyday for us.. As kids we have even worn sonphool made of jai mogare.. It is much lighter than actual mogare and looks so beautiful.. Loved this post

    1. Than you for sharing that. Do you have pics of you as a kid with sonphool. I just saw a few pics of a relatives daughter all decked up for her fifth birthday. Heh! will have to do that for Meera! ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Wow, I looove jaiche kalo. It is one of my favorites afer Kasturi mogore. It is funny, when I was pregnant I yearned for smelling these flowers and luckily found a beautiful creeper with lots of jai mogore in Costco for 14 bucks, I jumped at it and now my daughter is almost 2 and still my beautiful creeper gives me such fragrant flowers in spring (right now there r so many flowers).. My daughter was born in spring and this plant always will be so special for me.. another reason I love this creeper is because it is so forgiving.. my husband was sure that I would kill it by depriving it of water.. but it has survived many such thirsty days..hehe.. sorry for digressing.. thank u so much for this video.

    1. Anu, thank you for sharing this beautiful zhalak (vignette) in yours and your daughter’s life. How wonderful to read ~ actually I was short of words and thus the delay in composing this reply.

      Nearly two? that is such a engaging and mesmerizing time with the girl. Have you shared pics somewhere? BTW, I am on FB with the same name. btw, no pressure.

      As I see this and other video, I wish I had started shooting videos years ago. A great way to capture memories and aspects of our heritage.
      Thank you for sharing,

  7. Hi Arun,

    Sweet. The more I read your articles, the more I go into dreamland. Yeah, I remember the ‘gowadthis’ (The local tribal ladies) with beautiful rounds of bead-necklaces, carrying those braids enroute to the kumta market through herwatta , and my grandma stopping them and doing chowkashi (bargain) and buy a bunch for God, herself and other ladies in the house.

    I want more – you weave magic.


  8. Lovely post! I am a big fan of the jaii-che kale and their fragrance. But their beauty is so short-lived, once bloomed they soon fall off from the vai..

    1. I love how delicate they are, in color AND fragrance; and YES! like all things beautiful – short-lived! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      also reminds me of the related – Bhatkal Mogre. I think they still fly them into Mumbai every day! :-O

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