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Pastoral footwear of Gujarat

Footwear, Leather

Pastoral footwear of Gujarat

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Kutch is the home to various pastoral and nomadic communities. Communities like Rabari and Bharwads walk miles every day over extremely hard terrain with their cattle and camels. Rabari men wear rabarinapagnajoda, a pair of footwear made by Gohil community. This footwear is long lasting, durable and requires minor repairs after a period of usage. This footwear is heavy as at least four to five layer of leather are sewn without skiving/thinning the hide. The stitching is done by hand using vegetable tanned leather.

Another pastoral footwear made by artisans of Wagad is Patel bhaianebainajoda i.e. men and women’s footwear. The top of the shoe is Rugged and depicts a great sense of style. The three inch healed footwear worn by men is stained in green, pink and purple dyes.

Other than footwear, leather is also used for other utilitarian items. The supadu is a grain winnower made of dry grass whose stalks are covered in leather and stitched together with cotton thread. Jotar . is another utilitarian article made to hold seeds which is attached to the plough. Water bags in shape of Ferris wheel, cattle eye shields and harness are few examples of utility products. The use of rivets and eyelets is done in abundance.

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