Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe by Charlotte Kwon
The Banjara - an ethnic group composed of nomadic tribes, centered in the Indian state of Rajasthan - are renowned for their highly colourful textiles, often embellished with mirrors and intricate embroidery and produced from natural resources. Created to satisfy the needs of the tribe, occasionally incorporating shells, beads, mirrors, and tassels for decoration, the Banjara technique is unique in India and a celebration of the strength of the women who practise it. Recent genetic and linguistic evidence supports ties between the Banjara and the European Roma, eliciting much debate about the exact nature of the connection. This is the first book to be devoted to the traditions and embroidery of the Banjara, illuminating their history and investigating their links with the European Roma. Photographs by documentary photographer Tim McLaughlin illustrate the highest quality pieces of Banjara embroidery and costume, both historic and contemporary, and are accompanied by a foreword by Rosemary Crill, a senior curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and an appendix of line drawings.