Parra (brass vessel)

Relationship: Im/migrant
This is a Parra similar to the one I own
This is a Parra similar to the one I own

The object that I am going to talk about is a Parra, which is made of brass. The Parra, that is in my house, was actually bought from a store several years ago by my grandmother, and was gifted to my family. But, it is just a replica of a much larger Parra, which is made from straw. A few decades back, when Kerala, a state on the coast of India, was just beginning to develop into a city, people were still working on farms and harvesting the annual bunch of crops. Small animals, in search of food, would come and destroy the newly harvested crops, while it is out drying. So to prevent this from happening, people started weaving bundles of straw together into a basket. And as a matter of size, it varied and is based on the size of how much crop your family successfully harvested. Now, people make Parras out of brass, and it is mainly used on special occasions, such as Onam (a celebration on the return of King Mahabali) and Keralite weddings. During weddings, coconut flower, which is common in Kerala due to the abundant amount of coconut trees, is placed in a Parra at the center of the altar, to show how the family is blessing the newly-wed couple a prosperous life. This object reminds me of Kerala, and it helps me connect with my culture, Malayali descent and my ancestral life.

Place(s): Kerala
Year: 2016

– Sakshi

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant