Geography, they say, creates history
The amazing diversity of Gujarat’s textiles can be explained by the contrasts in its geography. From the desert embroideries of Kutch to the intricate double Ikat weaves of Patan’s Patola saris, this state that borders Sindh, Pakistan is home to a mind-boggling array of textiles. Part of the reason is the stark difference in landscape. From the Banni grasslands at the Great Rann of Kutch to the watery depths of the Nalsarovar Lake, Gujarat’s geographies are extreme.
Reaching out to the world
Gujarat is a coastal state that connects to Pakistan and the Arabian Sea. The borders of Gujarat are rich both culturally and ecologically. The Banni Grasslands, India’s largest naturally occurring grasslands connect Gujarat with Pakistan, and once upon a time to Baluchistan and Afghanistan as well. This leads to a very fluid idea of borders as you see below.
The Rann of Kutch
The Rann of Kutch is home to a large group of nomadic pastoral tribes. The nature of their life allowed for craft and creativity. Agriculture is a more draining full-time occupation. There is little time for the crafts that are born of leisure. Cattle herders and other pastoral communities on the other hand have time during the day to engage their minds and spirit. Hence the stunning diversity in textiles.
Land and climate create culture which create craft and handwork.