It begins with a story. A love story really. A shepherd boy falls in love with a weaver girl. He belongs to the Bharwad (herdsmen) community. She is a Vankar (weaver). The families oppose this match. So the two run away and get married. Not only that, they have children and progeny. The clan flourishes. They call themselves the Dangasia community, living around Surendranagar, Gujarat.
The man herds sheep, shears them, and gives his wife the wool. She weaves it into shawls. A whole community of Dangasia weavers flourish. This was 700 years ago, according to legend. Today a few families remain.
Below is Gauriben Parmar, weaving a Tangaliya. Her husband, Dayabhai Parmar told me that they used to make a variety of Tangaliya weaves with names according to motif and colour.
The dots are called Danas. The motifs are largely geometric and depict peacocks, airplanes, arrowheads, pots and flowers. The motifs have names such as Ramraj (black dots against maroon weave), Charmalia(white dots), Dhunslu (simple dots for older women), and Lobdi (head covering with white dots).
Black is considered an auspicious colour. Gauriben tells me that every time a girl gets married she is given a beautifully woven tangaliya. This beautiful tangaliya is wrapped around the waist somewhat like a dhoti and tucked in.