1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Banjara Beadwork

Discussion in 'South India' started by Jenny, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny Guest

    The Banjara tribe in India produces the most beautiful beadwork. They are concentrated mainly in southern India but a few are also in the far north. I look forward to seeing their work.


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there! Welcome to the forum!

    The Banjara tribes also goes by the names Lambani, Vanjara and Gormati. They are originally from the country Afghanistan before settling into India. They were from the state of Rajasthan but are now spread all over India, like you said, mostly in the Southern part of the country. Banjaras were suppliers of bullocks and some even were salt merchants.

    Like other tribes, the art of Banjaras are very rich. They perform dances and music as well as create textile embroidery and even tattoos. Perhaps, their embroidery is the usual identified art of the Banjaras. The women of the Banjara tribes specialise in a type of embroidery called lepo. It involves stitching mirrors, beads and coins into clothes.

    The embroidery and beadwork of Banjaras are colourful, vibrant and unique. Another important aspect of their design is the use of geometrical combinations like squares, diamonds and triangles. They also use simple stitches like herringbone, chain stitch, short and long stitch to create elaborate designs.

    Mirrors are an important part of their embroidery work. When the sunlight hits the mirrors in the embroidery, it adds beauty to the design. The embroidered pieces of Banjaras include the following:
    • Kothala - This measures approximately 50 centimetres squared. It can be a water pot cover or even a bag when folded the right way.
    • Gala Phulia - This is a pot holder, used by women to carry a pot in their head.
    • Gano - This is an embroidered work used to cover the pot during ceremonies.
    • Dhavalo - The most important textile for ceremonies, usually used during weddings.
    Some images of their intricate embroidery works:

    I hope this helps.