Thursday, February 12, 2009

The mud mirror homes of Gujarat

This is one place I've really wanted to go to for the longest time. Gujarat. I've been to Ahmedabad, but to see the real Gujarat, one needs to travel to her villages. And see the women in their embroidered and bright clothes, see their indigenous mud homes, decorated in self colours and embedded with little mirrors. I will one day do that and post my own pictures. But till then I will feed my desire with these images and invite you to do the same.
Homes with this kind of work are made by the Rabari community. You can read a bit more about them here. Wikipedia has interesting things to say about the Rabari women. "The women manage the hamlets and are shrewd and intelligent. They sell wool and clarified butter to city merchants and manage all money matters. The women are strong, tall and well built. The Rabari men can often be seen roaming the countryside with their droves. They travel hundreds of miles on annual migration routes in search of new pastures to graze their animals. The Rabari women are easily distinguished by their long, black headscarves, which fall loosely to the ground. They wear distinctive heavy brass earrings which hang low, stretching the earlobes. They tattoo magical symbols onto their necks, breasts and arms. Their jewelry is modest in comparison to other tribal women. They wear small gold nose ring and silver and gold chains around the neck on which protective amulets are hung.


These homes are called Bhunga huts and are designed to last long and protect against desert sandstorms and earthquakes. Incidentally these kind of homes are the only one that escaped the 2001 Gujarat earthquakes.
Lippan-kam or mud mirror work of Gujarat. Design flute has written an indepth and beautiful post on this kind of work. Do check it out here. Roma has also written a post on the mud houses of Gujarat here, which is really informative.
I loved this picture which is such an interesting and beautifully-adaptable-for-contemporary-homes way of having an altar.

All images are from allposters.com

29 comments:

lilfern said...

love it!love it! love it!thanx for the post - have lived two years in guj but never saw anything like this :(

bhumika said...

vineeta, this just wants me to run away from office, go to some village and experience the beauty of these homes. My neighbour has her entrance made with this work. Will click it and send it to you :)

vineeta said...

Lilfern, This image is from a modern home I believe. I guess it will need a bit of roaming & digging to see homes like this :)

vineeta said...

bhumika, Same here man! Maybe we should do the running together :)
And do, do click your neighbour's door , I'd LOVE to see it :)

Fernanda R. Lima said...

Vinee!! I´m speechless... breathless with these pictures!!!! Love it! Incredible.. i have to go to these place in my next time in India... what a dream...Tks!

;-)

Sharon Colaco D'Souza said...

Vineeta, this is such a beautiful art form. Makes me want to build a home just to put this is! :)

Sharon

bindu said...

Oh wow! I could just stare at these forever. I LOVE the colors and textures. So gorgeous!!

vineeta said...

Fernanda, when you come down to India, send me a line & we will go there together hopefully :)

Sharon, its truly beautiful. You can try picking up nick knacks with this kind of work on it. I've seen some clocks and other things with this work on it.

vineeta said...

Bindu, the credit goes to the photographer, John Henry Claude.

bhumika said...

vineeta, let's make a plan. come to a'bad and we'll make a trip around gujarat. even i haven't explored much of this state. It'll be fun! :)

Chandan said...

The first image was on the cover of a book about Rajasthan. Wonderful post indeed.
Do check out http://girlabouthome.blogspot.com, have tagged you!
;-)
C

Fernanda R. Lima said...

This is such a nice idea! I´m going to India (hopefully) in the beginning of 2010 and it will be very nice if we can meet.

;-)

Krista said...

Beautiful! This is really incredible.
The colors and the mirror work stunning. Can I run away with you to Gujarat too!? :)

indian yarn said...

the rabari's are an interesting clan. they make their canvas wherever they go from textiles to the walls ..it just keeps getting better and better.

the villages of gujrat brings us clos to earth -- the warmth, the hospitality -- the color --enterprising too...

Arch at Rang said...

Oh my! My fav has to be the oil lamps lined above the bed!

Lovely post Vineeta~

Arch

vineeta said...

Bhumika you are on. The next time I decide to come there, you are the 1st person I am contacting :) It will be such fun!!! :)

vineeta said...

Fernanda, you know my mail id. Write to me or place a comment here & we will plan it all out together :)

vineeta said...

Krista, we are putting together the bandwagon, just jump on to it :) Just think of how exciting it would be to just catch up & meet each other face to face.

vineeta said...

Indian yarn, you are so right, the two word that pop up into ones mind the minute you think Gujarat is talent & enterprise. It is my dear wish to go and see these people first hand.

vineeta said...

Archana, it IS such a brilliant idea! And trust you of all the people to see & appreciate it.

Julie said...

I have just stumpled across your blog and it is wonderful. It has fed my fantasy to one day travel to India (a lifelong dream)and to increase my Indian style home decorating elements.

megha punater said...

beautiful post vineeta,i am originaly from gujurat and this so reminds me of our ancestral home :)
thanx for sharing.

Tiggy Rawling said...

Love your blog! As you can see we are now in Mumbai! Fabulous time in Kutch. but difficult to blog, so I have lots of catching up to do! I'll check out your blog in the cold and grey of England next week.

vineeta said...

Julie, you must come :) this country never disappoints, it might shock or amaze or garner any other strong reactions, but it will never disappoint :)

Megha, Your ancestral home looks like this!!!! God! where are the pictures! Please do take pics and blog about it the next time you come to India.

vineeta said...

Tiggy, wow you are in my home tomn (in my head) I'm in my technical hometown in Kerala. If i were in Bombay we could have met! :) Have fun, do check out Haji Ali, Prince of wales musuem, the Kala ghoda precints, The old heritage building of bombay & if you are adventurous you must check out the dhobhi ghats, dharavi & travel by the local train :)

Rowena said...

I love everything here but had to comment on this post. I am in awe of the beauty of these houses.

Here I was tending toward the spare and serene, purging all of my things, and now I want to put tiny mirrors everywhere. I have them. I can do it.

Glad to have found you through Peccanoot. Love Jess and she is doing a brilliant thing.

Rosana said...

I would like to know how to make it!
Can somebody help me?
rosananevesrj@hotmail.com
I'm an artist from Brasil, but I dont now the right material to use.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Heya..... ammm..... i wanted to learn the art of mud mirror too!. So i was hoping that if u can help me out.
Can u tell me anyone in ahmedabad(vastrapur)who can teach me this art. I am really desperate to learn it.... actually i m a artist by profession(abstract artist).

So pls just give me a reply over my query. It would be very grateful of u to help me!

priyanka said...

Hey Vineeta

This is soo inspiring , Really love every shot , keep up ur good work
Thanks 4 sharing these !