Lifescapes Gallery

10 / Jan / 2013
Home Tailoring In Coorg!
Common Tailorbird, Coorg
Dr. Bishan Monnappa

Home Tailoring In Coorg!

Tailors stitch clothes. Or that’s what we’ve always believed. In Coorg, however, they sew, rivet and stitch ready-to-occupy homes. There is an entire community of seamstresses in this neck of the woods, who give ‘tailor-made’ homes a whole new meaning, creating plush, bespoke dwellings that are a far cry from the assembly line apartments that make concrete jungles so claustrophobic. The Common Tailorbird of Coorg has a rather uncommon avocation, and earns her name by being a tailor-par-excellence. While on the subject of names, her scientific name, Orthotomus Sutorius, means ‘Cobbler’ rather than ‘Tailor’, but we’ll soon see why both labels sit snugly on her crown, jostling for space, as they do, with ‘Architect’. It is all about the method behind the craftsmanship of the famous nest-homes she builds. First she takes a large leaf, preferably a live one, which is curled by twisting spider strands around it to form a cup. Then the edges are joined together by making a series of uniformly spaced holes that are so tiny, they don’t cause browning, and stay camouflaged. Then she draws plant fibre, insect silk or even stolen household thread through the punctures to form separate loops that she teases into a ‘knot’ on the outside, almost like rivets. The methods she uses are technically classified as Sewing, Riveting, Lacing and Matting. Building over, it’s time to furnish the home, and the inside is layered with grass and lined with kapok fibre and soft, fluffy seeds to create a cushy pad for the new family. Then it’s time for Momma Tailorbird to move in, lay her eggs and incubate them, while Papa goes foraging, brings back nourishing tidbits, and feeds her. A cosy picture indeed, and one that proves that whether it’s been built or stitched together, home is really where the heart is!

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 6:06 am and is filed under Birds . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. Sapna S B says:

    Interesting stories and beautiful pictures.

  2. Ganesh HR says:

    Rajesh sir, This is Ganesh HR. The story was interesting & wonderful. I really like it. Also, give my regards to Maam.

  3. B Ramagopal says:

    As usual the photograph and corresponding write up (the way it is told) is great. I look forward with interest to the monthly Lifescape article. by the way, along with the photograph of tailor-bird, a photograph of the ‘home’ that it stitches would have been quite educative too.

  4. Mrigank Sharma - Thane says:

    Hello. My family & I had a wonderfull experience on both your properties – Coorg & Kabini.
    With these images & accompanying text we frequently get transported back to the resorts. Hats off to the photographers for their amazing images. Can I suggest that Orange County brings out a calender with these images so that they are in front of you more often? But hope they will be reasonably priced…atleast for those who have already stayed in your resorts.
    Thank you.
    Mrigank Sharma – India Sutra. Thane/Mumbai.

    • Jose Ramapuram says:

      Dear Mrigank,
      Greetings from Orange County Resorts.
      Thank you very much for the wonderful comments on both our resorts and Lifescapes itself. It is the brilliance of our local photographers and of course Mr. Rajesh Ramaswamy, the storyteller, that makes Lifescapes such a wonderful initiative. Orange County is just a facilitator in bringing all these amazing people together. Thank you very much for the idea about the calender. Let me assure you that if we do bring out a calender, we will try our best to keep it free for all :).
      Warm regards,

      Jose Ramapuram
      Director – Marketing
      Orange County Resorts & Hotels Ltd.

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