Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
Rabari people are gypsies having their deep ancestry origins in Mount Kailash. They migrated to the Kutch via Afghanistan & Kashmir.
Just a video taken as I walk about a village of the Rabari tribe in Kutch, India.
They spend most of the year with their flocks taking them grazing from one region to another. During the monsoons they come back to their settlements – a village such as this one – to arrange marriages and to store some assets gathered over the months.
The women all wear black Ludhis – and embroidery is a major part of their lives. The reason for the black is historical : Legend has it that centuries ago one of important Rabari women made a King her brother by tying him a Rakhi. When he died the tribe went into mourning or ‘Sutak’ and black is the color of mourning. For any Sutak to be anulled, certain rituals needed to be performed – and in this case it is said that the ritual that was required to be performed was an extremely stringent and impossible one. That a feast needed to be arranged that required the use of 40 mann (1 mann = 40 kg) of salt to be consumed in the cooking!! And so the Sutak remains in force even today.
There are many sub tribes within the larger group called Rabari – but they are easy to identify by their costumes and their jewellery which are fortunately being passed on to the younger generation as well.
More articles on the Kutch listed here.