Patwas: The Sutradhaar of Beads


The nadas (delicate rope which is threaded into the skirt and holds it in place) of ghaghras, the colorful parandis (rope like hair adornment pleated into the plait which ends in a colorful tassel), the pirona (tie) of necklaces, the "payals", the rakhis and hundreds of thread decorations of their beloved camel. Patwas of Rajasthan used to go village to village selling all of the above, repairing old jewelry when a thousand beads fell apart, threading them together again. Those delicate kardhinis or belts for children, for women to highlight their waistline, for men to tie on their dhoti as a fashion accessory. Mela (fair) to mela, mandir to mazaar, small or big, they went in groups setting up small stalls, laying out a small store of decorative treasures.

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