Need a Handmade Iron Tool? Go shop with the Gadaliya Lohar Tribe of Rajasthan

April 13, 2014

Hand made textiles I can understand – but seeing handmade iron tools on sale brought me face-to-face with my ignorance!

As I walked through Jaisalmer, I came across 2 families of blacksmiths. They not only cooked and slept in the meagre shade jute sack fragment propped up as a tent – but also manufactured and sold their wares there.

These were the Gadaliya Lohar people – ‘Gadaliya’ literally means ‘with a cart’ and Lohar means Blacksmith.The tribe lives a nomadic life moving from village to village in Rajasthan selling their products and their skills.

A few pictures:

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Note his silver jewelry!

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I heard about them for the first time a few years ago from my Jeweler- mentor who spoke about their silver jewelry. Then over the years  in my travels I saw them and interacted with them.

To be from India and yet not know about their interesting existence until I was about 40 years old is surprising!  Had chance not intervened, I would have probably gone through life without any idea of the diversity of ethnic groups in India like most of my family and friends.

Is our education system so inadequate?  Or is it so skewed towards preparing us for the future that we are forgetting our past?

GO BACK TO RAJASTHAN DIARIES

jm

Apr 2014

 

 

 

 

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