Our trip to Rann has given me some of the most colourful memories of my life which I shall cherish forever.
Gujarat is amongst the famous states in our country blessed with a myriad of cultures, customs and colours. One of the greatest treasures of the state is its art and crafts. Be it the famous garba dance, music, intricate weaves or embroidery — Gujarat has given us some of the best art and craft forms that are envied the world over. One such craft is the Kutch embroidery — a distinct testimony of Kutch’s rich cultural heritage.
I was completely awestruck by this colourful art form and the impeccable designs of Kutch embroidery. The embroidery here is characterised by the use of vibrant colours, mirrors and beads and intricate and extensive needlework that embellishes the entire fabric on which it is based.After spending an entire day with the local craftsmen practicing this art, here are few interesting facts that I learned about Kutch embroidery.
1. An art that speaks a thousand words
Kutch embroidery has different types, styles, motifs and colours. It varies from community to community and region to region. These different types are not just decorative in nature but also speak of specific details about the makers’ and wearer’s caste, their social status and also their religious affiliation. Not only this, you can also know the marital status of a lady by the type of embroidery she is wears. Various clans around the region have their own distinctive styles such as Rabari, Ahir, Mochi and Mutwa.
2. A legacy passed on to generations
Kutch embroidery was primarily a hobby of the Kutch women. They would use their amazing talent tomake wedding trousseau for their daughters that would include the bride’s ghagro, choli, the groom’s kediya, the dowry bag, wall-hangings and other decorative items. This art form is passed down from generation to generation and girls are taught embroidery by their mothers from an early age. A young girl’s embroidery skills can make her a good prospect for marriage and help her to find a good match!
3. Mythological and Royal Connect
There are many legends popular in the region that the origin of Kutch embroidery datesback to the Ramayana and Lord Krishna era. It is said that this unique style of embroidery was introduced by Kathi cattle breeders, a group of wanderers associated with Karna of the Mahabharat. It is also believed that the Kutch Embroidery was popular among the kings and queens of the Mughal era.