On a day off

One of my dear friend ‘Nevine’ was in town last week. She is a great craft lover.

We travel all around the city every time she comes here.

This time our target was Connaught Place. There is a small lane on Janpath where you get some really beautiful handcrafted stuff.

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Here’s a small glimpse on what you will get there :

Think of Gujarat and vibrant images flash across the mind… the exhilarating Garba, decorated camels in the great Rann and everyone clothed in colourful embroideries.

DSC00396jholas with hand embroidery

From the geometric Kharek to the intricate Soof and to the thorn bush inspired Rabari, the identity of every Kutchhi person is woven in the stitches of these embroideries.
Things seen in daily lives; flowers and bushes, peacocks and camels, women doing household chores and men tending to cattle, all these are inspirations for these beautiful designs.

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The women have been stitching their own garments and decorating them with embroideries for centuries and have mastered the skills of color and compositions.

Rabari-women

Traditionally, embroideries were largely meant for personal use and dowry or gifts, but now these embroideries are bringing in color and whimsy into our homogeneous mass produced urban marketplace.

DSC00392here’s Nevine checking out the beautiful jholas

DSC00397meet Nirmala, the lady from whom I bought jewelery this time

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There are about 16 different types of embroideries done in the Kutch region, but the most well known one, with its chain stitches and countless mirrors, is the Rabari embroidery.
Rabari, or “Rahabari” means one who lives outside or “goes out of the path”.

Rabari weddings are a colourful affair as any Indian wedding, but one of its aspects requires years of preparation. It is the preparation of dowry. The girl prepares her own dowry and only after it is ready she can go to her husband’s home.
It may even take two or three years to prepare the trousseau which includes the girl’s clothes, bags, bedcovers and even the decorative camel cover.
All of these are embroidered by the girl, and in this way, she also learns the skills which have passed on through generations.

DSC00409Nirmala carrying a beautiful clutch 

Not just these, but I came across some really beautiful jewelry made out of
Old Indian Coins.

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Old Indian currency in the erstwhile denominations of 20 paise, 10 paise and even the earlier pai and aana has become the latest rage in ethnic jewelry creation.  These old time coins have been reused and revamped to create some stunning pieces of adornments such as necklaces, bracelets, waist belts, earrings and even rings for an exquisite ethnic look.

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Coin jewelry in fact is not new as coins have been punched to create jewelry pieces
since the invention of currency.
There is also historical evidence and old artifacts of coin necklaces dating hundreds of years back.  In fact, coins in any kind of metal, be it gold, silver or bronze have always featured as an adornment in several types of cultures related to an Indian origin.
The old coins that were minted in the era of the Vijayanagar Kingdom have Hindu gods and goddesses inscribed on it and were also used in jewelry.
The same is the case of the coins minted during the time of Akbar that had phrases from the Quran inscribed onto it and were used in amulets and were considered lucky.

DSC00403here’s Nevine checking out coin pendant

DSC00391A beautiful jhola with Indian 25 paisa coin

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Last but not the least I got a couple of rings and pendants for me too 🙂

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As Always it was a great time with my friend and learning some more about Indian Handicrafts.

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