I have collected textiles from many travels around the world; Istanbul, Peru, Thailand…But while in India in 2008 I had an amazing experience traveling with some fellow artists and guided by Indebo into the heart of Kutch, Gujarat, and the source of beautiful embroidery . I was able to visit villages, spend time in family homes and watch the process by sitting beside artisans as they worked.
Kutch is a dry and salty place and the people who live there need to be very resourceful. As we traveled by our minibus through the region, we saw women carry rock for road work, caring for children and livestock and always wearing beautifully embroidered clothing. At home I would never have worn such beautiful clothes to work in the dirt, but here the women were awash in color and each garment displayed the unique embroidery of the woman’s village and personal style. Each day that we went out to visit different communities the visions outside the bus window were amazing. Stark dry landscape punctuated by beautiful colored sarees and embroidered cloth.
Often in a village the skills of needle work have been abandoned so that the girls could attend modern schools, the older women were the keepers of the patterns and styles of thread work. In a remote village we visited, a co-op that is attempting to reinvigorate the old skills by providing resources and a place for the women to go to do embroidery. The young mothers are able to bring their very young children and babies to work side by side with older women who remember ancient patterns shared by their mothers. We shared tea and stories of our grandchildren and found that despite our varied backgrounds we had an awful lot in common when it came to funny stories about our husbands and the complicated relationships between a young bride and her mother in law. Many smiles were shared.
Places visited in Gujarat : Bhuj and the villages around Bhuj in Kutchch
|Small places cannot be correctly located in these maps. May we request/suggest that you look into Google Maps for the location of these places in the particular States of India. Thank you for your understanding.