The following post is Part I of our series: "Meet the Makers" tracking the production process of Avani's indigo from seed to scarf. For more information about the series and an introduction to the Avani blog, see our first post.
Mohani Devi has been harvesting indigo with Avani for two years, providing her with an independent source of income. Mohani lives in Chachared, a village with five households down a steep slope from the main road. Mohani has to carry the indigo she harvests up the slope to the road where the Avani truck can pick it up.
In the photo below, you can see Mohani's two and a half year old granddaughter. When Mohani works in the field, she brings her daughter to keep an eye on her. On harvest day, Mohani has to wake up extremely early and work quickly; the longer indigo stays in the sun, the less pigment it will have, and the less it will be worth. Indigo needs to be handpicked because many weeds grow in the field, which they cannot sell, so they have to select as they cut.
This year, Mohani, along with her daughter-in-law Kabita (pictured below), has harvested 116kg of indigo, which is equivalent to about 2,359 rupees. She plans to use this money to pay for her second son's wedding next month.
Check back tomorrow for Part II: The Dye