SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Shawl

A shawl is a simple item of clothing, loosely worn over the shoulders, upper body and arms, sometimes over the head. It is a rectangular or square piece of cloth, folded to make a triangle, but can be triangular in shape. Other shapes include oblong shawls; the words "shawl" and "pashmina" originate from Hamedan, Iran. Sources report cashmere crafts were introduced by Sayeed Ali Hamadani, when the 14th century came to Ladakh, homeland of pashmina goats, for the first time in history, he found that the Ladakhi Kashmiri goats produced soft wool, he took some of this goat wool and made socks which he gave as a gift to the king of Kashmir, Sultan Qutabdin. Afterwards, Hamadani suggested to the king that they start a shawl weaving industry in Kashmir using this wool; that is. The United Nations agency UNESCO reported in 2014 that Ali Hamadani was one of the principal historical figures who shaped the culture of Kashmir, both architecturally and through the flourishing of arts and crafts, hence economy, in Kashmir.

The skills and knowledge that he brought to Kashmir gave rise to an entire industry. Kashmir was a pivotal point through which the wealth and products of ancient India passed to the world; the most known woven textiles are the famed Kashmir shawls. The Kanikar, for instance, has intricately woven designs; the Chennai leaf and cherry blossoms, the rose and tulip, the almond and pear, the nightingale—these are done in deep mellow tones of maroon, dark red, gold yellow and browns. Yet another type of Kashmir shawl is the Jamiavr, a brocaded woollen fabric sometimes in pure wool and sometimes with a little cotton added; the floral design appears in a heavy, close embroidery-like weave in dull silk or soft pashmina, comprises small or large flowers delicately sprayed and combined. Still another type of Kashmir shawl is the double-sided Dourukha, a woven shawl, so done as to produce the same effect on both sides; this is a unique piece of craftsmanship, in which a multi-coloured schematic pattern is woven all over the surface, after the shawl is completed, the rafugar works the outlines of the motifs in darker shades to bring into relief the beauty of design.

This attractive mode of craftsmanship not only produces a shawl, reversible because of the perfect workmanship on both sides, but it combines the crafts of both weaving and embroidery and religious beliefs expressed in different shawls. The most expensive shawls, called shahtoosh, are made from the under-fleece of the Tibetan antelope or Chiru; these shawls are so fine that a tightly woven shawl can be pulled through a small finger ring. The naksha, a Persian device like the Jacquard loom invented centuries enabled Indian weavers to create sinuous floral patterns and creeper designs in brocade to rival any painted by a brush; the Kashmir shawl that evolved from this expertise in its heyday had greater fame than any other Indian textile. Always a luxury commodity, the intricate, tapestry-woven, fine wool shawl had become a fashionable wrap for the ladies of the English and French elite by the 18th century. Supply fell short of demand and manufacturers pressed to produce more, created convincing embroidered versions of the woven shawls that could be produced in half the time.

As early as 1803, Kashmiri needlework production was established to increase and hasten output of these shawls, imitated in England since 1784 and in France. By 1870, the advent of the Jacquard loom in Europe destroyed the exclusivity of the original Kashmir shawl, which began to be produced in Paisley, Scotland; the characteristic Kashmiri motif, the mango-shape, began to be known as the paisley. The paisley motif is so ubiquitous to Indian fabrics that it is hard to realize that it is only about 250 years old, it evolved from 1600s floral and tree-of-life designs that were created in expensive, tapestry-woven Mughal textiles. The design in India originated from Persian motif called butta-jeghgha which represents a stylized cypress tree, the symbol of Iranians. Early designs depicted single plants with large flowers and thin wavy stems, roots; as the designs became denser over time, more flowers and leaves were compacted within the shape of the tree, or issuing from vases or a pair of leaves.

By the late 18th century, the archetypal curved point at the top of an elliptical outline had evolved. The elaborate paisley created on Kashmir shawls became the vogue in Europe for over a century, it was imitations of these shawls woven in factories at Paisley, that gave it the name paisley still used in the United States and Europe. In the late 18th century and 19th century, the paisley became an important motif in a wide range of Indian textiles because it was associated with the Mughal court, it caught the attention of poorer and non-Muslim Indians because it resembles a mango. Cashmere Shawl is an evergreen shawl in the world. "Rural Indians called an aam or mango a symbol of fertility". The first shawls, or "shals", were used in Assyrian times. Shawls were part of the traditional male costume in Kashmir, they were woven in fine woollen twill, some such as the Orenburg shawl, were said to be as fine as the Shatoosh. They could be in one colour only, woven in different colour

John Miller (North Dakota politician)

John Miller was a bonanza farmer, business man and American Republican politician in North Dakota. He served as the first Governor of North Dakota from 1889 to 1891, after it was admitted as a state to the union. Born in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, Miller had moved to the Dakota Territory in 1878. With a partner he bought thousands of acres of land for what was called bonanza farming: large-scale farming of wheat as a commodity crop on an industrial scale; the Northern Pacific Railroad connected such farms to the populous eastern markets. He became a wealthy owner of three major agricultural companies. Miller was born in New York, in 1843 in the Finger Lakes region, he became a farmer there. In the late 19th century, the government sold off large amounts of land at inexpensive prices in the Dakota Territory after extinguishing Native American claims, Miller joined the thousands of people moving there. So many came from the Northern Tier of states that they established a political and social culture similar to that in New York, the Upper Midwest and New England.

In 1878, he moved to the Dakota Territory with Jeremy W. Dwight and purchased 17,000 acres of land in the fertile Red River Valley land of Richland County; as "bonanza farmers," the two men established the Dwight Farm and Land Company, selling some land as speculators. They became quite wealthy from cultivation of wheat as a commodity crop. Miller married Addie S. Tucker on February 22, 1882, they had two daughters. In 1888 Miller was elected to the territorial legislature. In 1889 Miller participated in the constitutional convention that resulted in North Dakota statehood. In 1889 he was the Republican nominee for Governor of North Dakota, he had no aspirations to the office, but North Dakota Republicans were convinced that he was the only candidate who could unite the party – Miller had developed a reputation for honesty by resisting lobbyists and others who attempted to obtain favorable action from the Council through bribery and other corrupt means. Persuaded that if he did not run the Republicans would lose, Miller agreed to become a candidate.

He won by popular vote in the General Election in 1889. In 1890, the state had a total white population of 190,983, having increased from 2,405 in the territory in 1870. During Miller's two-year tenure, the state government was formed. After serving his term, Miller declined to run again for other political office, he returned to his bonanza farm business, raising grain on an industrial scale. He organized the John Miller Land Company in 1896. In 1906 Miller became president of the newly incorporated Chaffee-Miller Milling Company, his partner Herbert F. Chaffee and he arranged for milling flour, supplied feed and other agricultural services; the company had offices in Duluth, Minnesota. Miller died in 1908. Miller died in Duluth, Minnesota in 1908, his family accompanied his body as it was returned to his birthplace of New York. He was buried in Green Hills Cemetery. In 1910 a granite mausoleum was erected at his gravesite, his remains were reinterred in it. Miller's wife and two daughters were later buried here.

In 2014 the mausoleum was restored and a plaque was added with Miller's name and title. William C. Hunter, "John Miller, First Governor of North Dakota," North Dakota History, 1967, Vol. 34 Issue 1, pp 31–45 John Miller's biography from the State Historical Society of North Dakota website John Miller at Find a Grave National Governors Association

Clayton Littlewood

Clayton Littlewood is the author of the book/play Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho and the sequel, Goodbye to Soho. Raised in Weston-Super-Mare Clayton attended Walliscote Primary School and Broadoak Comprehensive moving to London when he was nineteen. On arriving in London he formed a band with his friend; the band released a single called I Love to be Queer. The single was played in the clubs but failed to chart. Clayton went back to university and completed a BSc Hons degree in Cultural Studies and an MA in Film and Television. In July 1997 Clayton went to New York to try and meet Julie Andrews and give her a song he'd written called Last Night I Dreamt I was Julie Andrews. By the time he got there she had left the production. Clayton telephoned Quentin Crisp and spent the day with him. In 1998 Clayton hosted a pirate radio station in Brighton posing as a 75-year-old West Country female aromatherapist by the name of Dr Bunty. In 1999 Clayton wrote a six episode comedy series with Joe Pearson called Roots.

It was rejected by a number of agents and broadcasters including the BBC who wrote, "This is the most disgusting piece of filth we have read. Do not contact us again." Clayton met his partner Jorge Betancourt in South Beach in March 2004. They got married in Provincetown on 28 October 2005. Under the December 2005 ruling of the UK's Civil Partnership Act 2004 Jorge was thus able to move to the UK. Jorge died in July 2015. In January 2006 Jorge closed down his high fashion menswear Provincetown shop, Dirty White Boy and with Clayton re-opened it on Old Compton Street in London's Soho. Clayton and Jorge lived below their Soho shop. In August 2006 Clayton started a diary/blog charting day-to-day Soho life, it gained a cult following and in 2007, after a number of his stories had been published in The London Paper, Clayton was given a weekly column called'Soho Stories'. Between 2007–2008 Clayton was invited to appear on BBC Radio London a number of times to read out his stories. However, on two occasions he and his friend, the actor David Benson, were removed from the building for using language that the BBC found to be unacceptable.

In January 2008 Clayton was approached by Cleis Press to turn his blog into a book. Clayton delivered his first reading in February 2008 at the LGBT History Month event called'Between the Covers' where readers included Neil Bartlett and Maureen Duffy. Clayton was joined on stage by David Benson who provided the character voices while Clayton narrated. Due to the recession in June 2008 Dirty White Boy was declared insolvent. Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho was published in October 2008 and the book launch was held in Soho's The Colony Room. Reviews compared the book to the diaries of Samuel Pepys and Virginia Woolf and to Christopher Isherwood's Berlin stories, it was named Gay Times Book of the Year and was endorsed by celebrities such as Elton John, Stephen Fry, Holly Johnson and Sebastian Horsley. Interviewed in Polari Magazine Clayton said, "I've always written diaries. I've kept them for years, but during important moments. So when we had the shop I thought,'This is going to be an important moment'.

I had a feeling we weren't going to be there long, I wanted to document the period. We were getting all these crazy people coming into the shop, all these mad characters, but I thought rather than just write it as a diary I would post it on MySpace, it was the first time that I'd shown anybody what I had written."In December 2008 Clayton appeared on stage at the Freedom Bar in Soho reading from Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho alongside Sebastian Horsley. In April 2009 Clayton turned Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho into a play, it premiered at the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End and starred Clayton, David Benson and singer Maggie K de Monde, featuring music from Martin Watkins. It sold out. Interviewed in Whatsonstage, Clayton said, "I was interested in writing about the real Sohoites; the street people. The pimps; the rent boys. The bag ladies; the hookers. The transsexuals; the old queens. All those on the outside I guess." The play returned a year again at the Trafalgar Studios, for an extended run.

This time it featured Clayton and singer Alexis Gerred. The play was directed by Phil Willmott and received good reviews from Nicholas de Jongh and Paul Gambaccini. On 10 May 2012 Clayton released a sequel to Dirty White Boy called Goodbye to Soho; the book launch was held at Madame Jojo's in Soho where Clayton read from the book, performed scenes from the play and delivered a dedication to his friend Sebastian Horsley. Clayton was joined on stage by Maggie K de Monde and Martin Watkins. Advanced Reviews'Clayton's has been seduced by Soho's sleazy magic and through him so are we.' —Marc Almond'A frank and moving read.'—GT Magazine'Enchanting and addictive...earthy and never dull.'—West End Extra'As scurrilous and entertaining as ever.' —Rupert Smith'Like Isherwood's Berlin, Littlewood's Soho comes to life right off the page.' —Jonathan Kemp'Downright Dickensian...not a good writer but a great writer.' —Polari Magazine'That dirty old whore Soho has no better pimp than Clayton Littlewood.' —Tim Fo