Vintage Banjara Mirror Crochet

Designer: Banjara

$ 135.00 $ 150.00

    Vintage Banjara Mirror Crochet

A spectacular article we found in our search for Banjara textiles in India, 2018. It's one of our favorite vintage finds, the work is very interesting. A crotchet piece with several colors in checkered print and mirrors built in. You can tie it as a belt, a top or even a hair piece. We have tried several different uses for this and find that they all work really well, however our favorite is for it to be worn as a top.

    One of our dreams for this past trip in India was to learn more about the Banjara People and their craftwork. The Banjara also called Gor, Lambadi and Gormati are a community usually described as nomadic people from the northwestern belt of the India subcontinent from Afghanistan to the state of Rajasthan.
 We met a wonderful man named Ashok in Rajasthan who is a collector, educator, camel artist and supports the Banjara People.
      We spent the day with him reading his books, hearing his stories and sifting through his collection of vintage Banjara textiles while he was schooling us on what, where, and how they were made.
Much has been written about the Banjara since they are so fascinating and their work so detailed and ornate.
    Banjaras were traditionally suppliers of bullock and salt merchants. The word Banjara is said to be derived from Sanskrit word vana chara (wanderers in jungle). The word Lambani or Lamani is derived from the Sanskrit word lavana (salt), which was the principal product they transported across the country.  The Banjara embroidery and tattooing are prized and also form a significant aspect of the Banjara identity.  Lambani women specialize in lepo embroidery which involves stitching pieces of mirror, decorative beads and coins onto clothes. The Sandur Lambani Embroidery is a type of textile embroidery unique to the tribe in Sanduru, Bellary district, Karnataka.
    Since they were transporters of goods such as salt, grains, firewood and cattle, during the 19th century, the British colonial authorities brought the community under the purview of Criminal Tribes Act of 1871. This curtailed their movement and created great poverty in the tribes. The stigma attached to this continued until 1952 when the Act was abolished by the newly independent India but they remained disenfranchised. Now a lot of Banjara are forced to stay in their one village or close to cities where they participate in the local workforce. We are always striving to learn more and support their work as much as we can. Their vintage pieces should be treasured. We are told to never cut, or destruct their textiles or embroidery and we hope we can also convey this to you.


      SIZE: Small/Medium
    TOP WIDTH: 20"
    LENGTH: 10 3/4"

Hello You!

Join our mailing list