Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Rabari Ralli

Editors's Note: To celebrate the grand opening of the newly expanded Quilt House gallery, International Quilt Study Center & Museum team members are blogging about pieces in the gallery's inaugural exhibition, "Getting to Know You."

Ghodiyun Cradle Cover, made by the Rabari People,
Kutch, India, Circa 1975-2000. IQSCM 2012.001.0007.

By Marin Hanson
Curator of Exhibitions

I know I've written about India lately, but I just can't help it – I want to keep going back.

Quite simply, I love this quilt because it reminds me of the time I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the part of India where it was made – Kutch, which is a region in the state of Gujarat in the far West of the country. In fact, I was there when this piece was acquired on our behalf – by our good friend Geeta Khandelwal. Isn't it magnificent? The stylized peacocks, flowing trees of life, and triangular temples are surrounded by seemingly endless applique borders that reverberate and ripple outward. Clearly, this quilt would have added color and beauty to life in this arid part of India.

Rabari tribeswomen have made these quilts for generations. The Rabari family from whom we acquired this piece are no longer nomadic like their ancestors – in fact, they welcomed us into their home where the husband has a shop of Rabari crafts for sale.

Here I am – wistfully wishing I could stay longer in this wonderful country!

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