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Textiles of the Banjara

Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe

Charlotte Kwon, Tim McLaughlin


The first book on the traditions and embroidery of the Banjara, an ethnic group composed of nomadic tribes centred in Rajasthan

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The Banjara - an ethnic group composed of semi-nomadic tribes found throughout the Indian subcontinent - are renowned for their highly colourful textiles. Embellished with mirrors, shells and intricate embroidery. Banjara work displays a surprisingly modern aesthetic. Created to showcase embroidery skill, protect the owner from harm and channel auspicious powers, the Banjara technique is unique in India and a celebration of the strength of the women who practise it.

This is the first book devoted to the traditional clothing and embroidery of the Banjara, illuminating their long history and investigating their links with the European Roma.

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'This book should be required reading for anyone who does not consider that textiles are a subject for serious study'

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 30.4 x 22.7 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Publication date: 1 February 2016

ISBN: 9780500518373

Contents List

Foreword • 1. A strong Thread: The Banjara and their Embroidery • 2. History of a Wandering Tribe • 3. Embroidery: Song of the Cloth • 4. Banjara Style: Clothing and Ornament • 5. Revival: New Masters of the Art • Appendix: Line Drawings

About the Author

Charlotte Kwon is director of the Maiwa Textile Symposium, owner of Maiwa Handprints Ltd, and director of the Maiwa Foundation. In 2002 she curated an exhibition of tribal embroideries from the Kutch Desert.

Tim McLaughlin is a professional photographer and writer. In collaboration with Charllotte Kwon he has edited and co-directed four documentary films.

List of Contributors

Rosemary Crill

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