Grandmother with Grandson
Places that are at the end of train lines or are remote and difficult to get to are some of my most favorite destinations in the world and Kutch in the state of Gujarat is no exception. Over the years I’ve developed a deep love for this region, its people and the handicrafts produced there.
Wandering around town, armed with my camera, there is never a shortage of subjects. I smile at everyone and they smile back as not many foreigners make it this far west. It is a dry and barren landscape, plagued by earthquakes with only a few famous tourist attractions. This is reason enough for me to return year after year. Kutch’s warmth and hospitality is legendary, matched only by the yumminess of the local cuisine. No region in all of India has been more hospitable to me than Kutch. If you ever have the chance to visit this distant corner of India, do not hesitate!
In the photograph above, the grandmother is from the Rabari community, once nomadic shepherds who have now settled permanently in Kutch. Notice her white hand embroidered market bag with the red ruffle border. All Rabari have one similar to this. Her grandson, in contrast, is in western clothing. Unfortunately, the men make the change long before the women give up their traditional garb.
Woman in Red
Many different indigenous groups live in this region and for the most part, the women still proudly wear the traditional attire of their ancestors. This is fading all over India as it modernizes. As someone who loves the textile arts, this is a side of Kutch that pleases me enormously.
Woman with a Heavy Load
This woman in a hand embroidered tunic, arms encircled in graduated bracelets right up to her arm pits, balances a huge sack on her head. My admiration and love for these people increases with every visit.
In the Market
Kutch, known for its tie dye work as seen on the head scarves (odhnis) of the older woman and child, is famous all over India. It is also celebrated for its embroidered mirror work that adorns the woman’s blouse. Her golden nose plug is unique and beautifully rendered as well.
A mere stroll down any street in Kutch is a photographer’s dream. And so I keep dreaming of Kutch.
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I am just about out of free space on this blog. I think that by mistake, many of my photo files posted large and have used up too much space. As I have emphasized all along, I am not very tech savy and don’t know how to resize these photos. Once I reach my limit, I don’t know what I’ll do. Start another blog? Would you, dear readers come along? Do you have any suggestions or tips? Has anyone else had this issue and what did you do?
Thanks for reading.