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UAL Research Online

Marriage and Dowry Customs of the Rabari of Kutch: Evolving Traditions.

Edwards, Eiluned (2003) Marriage and Dowry Customs of the Rabari of Kutch: Evolving Traditions. In: Wedding Dress Across Cultures. Berg, Oxford, pp. 67-84. ISBN 1859737420

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Edwards, Eiluned

This chapter delineates the marriage customs of the Rabari nomads of Kachchh, Gujarat. It identifies the significance of the wedding dress, and analyses changes to dress over the past 15 years. By focussing on marriage, it considers how the material culture of rituals and expressions of faith reflects re-negotiations of Rabari identity.

This is the first time that the culture of India’s nomads has been analysed by cross-referencing socio-economic and religious practices, political policy, personal testimony and material expressions. In this respect, it augments the canon on socio-religious practices in India and material culture linked to those practices explored in the “great tradition” of temple complexes, devotional paintings and sculpture but is distinct from these because of its emphasis on oral history and vernacular religious expression.

Offering a unique perspective on marriage in India, this chapter analyses the nature and substance of a Rabari dowry and reveals the complexities of gift-giving on the subcontinent. It identifies the symbolic significance of dowry for Rabaris and compares this to the role of textiles more broadly in South Asia. It also makes explicit the economic value of textiles in the property transfers of marriage and how this aspect of textiles features in debates amongst Rabaris about re-shaping individual and community identity.

Official Website: http://www.bergpublishers.com/?tabid=655
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Eiluned Edwards

Current research

I am currently working on three projects: a book entitled Textiles and Dress of Gujarat to be published by Mapin Publishing (India) with V&A Publishing in 2010; research on the regional production of saris for an exhibition entitled Simply Sari to be held at the Textile Research Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands in 2010 for which I am writing the catalogue; and collecting oral histories among block printers and dyers of western India.

Recent research

I have recently completed a programme of research funded by the British Academy and the Laura and Luigi Dallapiccola Foundation with printers and painters in Srikalahasti and Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, printers in Jaipur, Bagru and Sanganer in Rajasthan, and printers in Gujarat. I also carried out research with indigo farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The project has been developed in collaboration with artisans at these sites with technical input from Dr Ismail Mohammad Khatri. The material will be developed in to a book but has already been disseminated through conference papers, journal articles and other publications.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Berg
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 2003
Funders: Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy
Related Websites: http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/31499.htm
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Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 12:47
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2010 11:17
Item ID: 863
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/863

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