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Portraits of Kutch Nomads

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A few photos of the nomads of Kutch

 

This trip in early 2006  marked the start of my solo travelling life.

As we were driving along the highway returning from a village, we spotted a family parked on the field adjacent to the road.

We walked up across the field and approached them. They asked us to sit and chat and offered us a cup of tea  -which I gladly accepted. Not knowing that this is tea made using GOAT milk!! The thought of this hurt my non-adventurous palate - but it tasted great in the end!

We talked about their life model - about sustenance and finances....

The family owns a herd of goats. They own no house and everything they own in terms of material possessions can be loaded on to their camel cart. They live on one field for a few days and then move on to another. Is there a cost involved - rent for example - in living on the field?

Of course NOT! Not only do these nomads not pay a paisa as rent, instead they charge the land owner - for having their herd of goats living on the field and fertilising the earth!!   What a perfect life model!

So they stay in one field for a fortnight or so and then move on. The only shelter they need is from the sun and the little tent provides that. Am not sure how they manage when the temperatures rise above 45 degrees Celsius in summer... But they have no need for protection from the skies as it rarely used to rain in the Kutch.

A large part of the nomad's wealth is worn on the woman's body. Magnificent chunky gold jewelry adorns these women - large necklaces, large nose rings, large earrings... and all traditional and gorgeous! City women are deprived of such joys - for fear of getting mugged!

The plan to return that night for a sleepover with them, did not materialise as I was too tired to come back out 30km out of the city. A missed opportunity that I regret tremendously.....but this regret will probably be the driving force that will take me back someday..

If I could ask for two boons from the Gods - I'd ask for infinite energy & infinite time to execute all plans & dreams!

PHOTOS TAKEN IN MY PRE PHOTOGRAPHY DAYS WITH A POINT & SHOOT CAMERA


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