About thirty weavers, aged on average about fifty, continue the tradition on their hand looms in Ruhitpur, about twenty kilometres from Dhaka. But their craft is dying. For centuries they provided clothing for peasants, such as light muslin clothes for the Mughal nobility in India or the European aristocracy from the 16th to 18th centuries. Today he has to contend with the more than 4,000 factories in Bangladesh. They supply the big names in the clothing trade such as Walmart, Inditex or H&M, but also the growing middle class in this South Asian country with 168 million inhabitants. In Ruhitpur, Mohammad Abu Taher, 55 years old, has no one to succeed him in his job. His two sons live in the capital.
“The last ones”
“We are the last,” he told AFP. “My great-great-grandfather was a weaver like all my ancestors. But now our sons have gone to Dhaka to do something else.”