The mud mirror homes of Gujarat

Thursday, February 12, 2009

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

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