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Photographer's Note

The beautiful and colourful embroidery work of Rabari women orginates from the depths of their culture and played an important part in the barter economy of the Kutch/Thar region. This was not orginally work for the consumption of middle class India, the 'flower children' of the West or the modern customers of Oxfam 'Fair Trade'. From childhood young women prepared their dowries and proclaimed to the world their status and identity. This beautiful craftwork and jewellery of Kutch is a language, a way in which you can read much about the person in front of you, their orgins, marriage and maternal status, their beliefs, tribe and tribal sub-group. This is a landscape criss crossed with the paths of these semi-nomadic people, criss crossed with the embroidered passage of so many stories.

".....and what of this finery when one's husband dies and the passage of time slows to sitting on this whitewashed step in the sun. A step such as the one I sat on and laughed and sewed so full of expectation as a girl."

" - and what of the dreams of Krishna fashioned in mud and whitewashed on the wall. What of these dreams when the earth shakes and one's house is no more?"

Beyond all this is still the spirit of a people who both live here and there and in all the spaces in between. A people who are proud, strong, skilled and aware of their identity and who know how to survive.

"Beyond our loss and our tears there is still this."

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Additional Photos by Kev Ryan (KevRyan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1784 W: 193 N: 5128] (22956)
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