india - gujarat

Meghwal tribal woman (Gujarat).


The people of Meghwal tribe are originally from Marwar in Rajasthan. These days they are also found living in western Gujarat near the Pakistan border. In Pakistan, Meghwals mostly live in Tharparker, Badin, Mirpurkhas, and Umerkot districts while in Southern Punjab. Marwar is the region of Rajasthan in India that lies in Thar Desert.


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They live in small hamlets of round, mud-brick huts painted on the outside with colourful geometric designs and decorated with detailed mirror inlays. The women are famous for their embroidery work and are master wool and cotton weavers. The men are woodcarvers and leather workers. Meghwals are considered as most peacefull among all the tribes living in Gujarat, Sindh, Rajasthan, Punjab.

The Meghwal women are renowned for their exuberantly detailed costumes and jewellery. Married Meghwal women are often spotted wearing gold nose ring, earrings and neckpieces. They were given to the bride as a "bride wealth" dowry by her soon-to-be husband's mother.

The Meghwal women's embroidery is avidly sought after. Their work is distinguished by their primary use of red, which comes from a local pigment produced from crushed insects. The Meghwal women artisans of Thar desert in Sindh and Balochistan, and in Gujarat are considered master of the traditional embroidery and Ralli making. Exotic hand embroidered items form part of dowry of Meghwal woman.

The Meghwal tribe are known to be both Hindu and Muslim.

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Taken in December 2008