Embroidery from Kutch
Traditionally stitched by village women in Gujarat’s Kachch region for themselves, their families, festive occasions, to honour deities or to generate wealth, the beautifully patterned Kachchi Embroidery on tie-dyed black wool epitomises the celebration of life. There are distinct variations in Rabari embroidery across the different Rabari sub-groups - the Kachchi, Dhebaria, and Vagharia - each of which trace their ancestry to the mythical Sambal, created by Lord Shiva to look after camels.
Historically, the patronage received by the Mochi, the community of shoemakers, to undertake Ari work on the royal textiles, and decorative objects of the courts of Kachchh, and Kathiawad brought Kachchi Embroidery into existence.
Embroidery is an important part of a Rabari woman’s life. This is because the context remains much the same; stitched embellishment serves as a tangible marker of dowry, rites of passage, group identity, marital status, utility, and also as a testament to the skill of the maker. The embroidered elements of the dramatic daily attire of Rabari women like Abha clearly state the symbiotic relationship between different communities’ contribution into bringing a work of art to life.