July 21, 2002 

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Rosary making at Koonammavu village near Cheranellur, Kochi 683518

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If Rome is the land of rosaries, Koonammavu village near Cheranellur, Kochi, is a mini version of it.  Here more than 500 women are engaged in making rosaries as a cottage industry.

While there is considerable demand for these spiritual artifacts domestically, the rosaries made here are exported to Philippines and Nigeria also.

Rosaries are made with 59 pearls.  Using a small plier, the pearls are strung on a thin metallic string.  After stringing, the rosaries are electroplated to give the final shining appearance.  There is an electroplating unit in Koonammavu itself.

“For me it takes 10 minutes to string a rosary.  And the work fetches me 80 paise.  I need not work under anybody.  And I decide how much I should earn”, says a rosary worker, Lilly Devasia of Manalipparambil.

Agents distribute pearl and string at the home of workers and collect finished products from them.

There are many types of rosary: the enchanting Mona Lisa rosary, multicoloured rainbow rosary, iridescent rosary that is luminescent at night, perfumed rosary etc are some of them.

While praying is one instance when rosary is used, its use is now more broad based.  Some wear it, some hang it in the vehicle while some give it as a gift to newly married couple.


Courtesy: Vanitha, September 1-14, 2000

Contributed by: Administrator


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