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13th May 2011

Making an octopus

We make lots of octopus rattles in centres in Sirajganj. It’s about 4 hours drive from Dhaka towards the North West and sits on the Brahmaputra river. It’s a char area. Chars are water islands. Little islands in the middle of the river which are regularly eroded and disappear. People live on these islands and when the island disappears during bad flooding, they then have to find a new char island to settle on and start all over again. It’s generally recognised that char dwellers move home in this way about 5-6 times in their lifetime, so roughly every 10 years.

The pictures show the process of making the octopus rattles in Sirajganj. Starting with the yarn which is sent up to the centre along with a work order information sheet which tells the artisans exactly what they should make and how many, along with the pattern and a sample and a diagram with dimensions. Everything needed to make the toys is packed up in a kit, and after a week, the supervisor in the centre will send the kit back but now filled with completed toys.

2 - start with yarn

3 - just the legs and waiting for a body to be made

4 - making the head

5 - and the body

6 - and another one

7 - enjoying the last of the sunshine before she leaves the centre

8 - ready to leave the centre

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