Stories Around Us

Style up like Rabari women of Okhamandal

Backless blouses, pleated skirts, long headscarves, danglers, tattooed arms sporting the no make up look – meet the showstopper. We’re talking about the Rabari women from Okhamandal region of Jamnagar district of Gujarat. And mind you, their style quotient can give city girls a run for their money.

These stylish women also adorn other women with their creation. Rabari women are known for their Rabari Bharat (Embroidery). Rabari embroidery is very vigorous, with many bold shapes. Designs are taken from mythology and from their desert surroundings. They use designs in various shapes: round, rectangular, square, triangular, and beak shaped.

This ethnic group has preserved the Rabari embroidery over the years. It is only recently that this form of art has found its way to the commercial market. Okhai, an initiative by Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) gives these women the opportunity to earn for themselves and their families. Economic empowerment of women as a precursor to their social empowerment helped in improving their status, both socially and economically.

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