Stumbling upon a quaint little handicraft shop on the streets of Bhuj outside the resort, my friends and I had the fortune of witnessing a beautiful array of handcrafted embroidery samples spanning years of work – all belonging to an immensely talented and generous lady, Hira Baa.
Offering a glimpse of her personal samples and sharing folklore of the numerous tribes that practice embroidery in Kutch, Hira Baa described how each tribal community in Kutch retains their unique identity and style of aesthetic through costume and differences in motifs, stitches and embroidery placement. She helped us decipher the subtle differences in embroidery motifs among the different communities that practice embroidery – Ahirs, Jats, Rabari, Saunf, etc.
My fondest memory of Hira Baa is simply how touched she was by the interest we showed in her work. She loved to interact with tourists about the heritage and textile crafts of Kutch, and insisted on giving whatever we wanted for free because our willingness to learn and the time we spent listening to her was, to her, all the worth of what she could give us.
The humility, creativity and talent of artisans never fails to leave one in rapture. Their hard work, their patience and their sense of attachment to what they create is so inspiring for creative professionals.
We all express who we are in what we wear and what we create, and that is what makes each one of us -individuals as well as communities- so unique yet all the same.
Watch Hira Baa’s graceful, creative hands at work here