Bhujodi in BhujBhujodi is one of the oldest and biggest artisan villages in Bhuj. You can easily hop on an auto from the auto rickshaw stand in Bhuj and reach Bhujodi. This village is more than 500 years old and is called the weaver village of Bhuj as there is one loom in every home here. Men, women and children all are involved in the process of weaving.
Most of the inhabitants of this village are either of the Rabari or the Vankar community and they are all weavers.
History of Bhujodi VillageThe moment you enter Bhujodi you will be struck by the fact that most women in the village wear black clothes embroidered by lavish colorful designs. The trademark of a Rabari woman (80% of the population of Bhuj are Rabaris) is that she still clings on to century old traditions. The tribes which populate Bhujodi village today are nomadic tribes who actually originated in Afghanistan.
The story goes that once a king had tried to abduct one of the Rabari women and a Muslim man saved her. Enraged the king beheaded the Muslim man and Rabari women still wear black in remembrance of his death. This is a unique example of the communal harmony and the brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims in Bhujodi. The Rabaris live in perfect harmony with Vankars who are actually a part of Meghwal community who have migrated from Rajasthan.
The Rabari community was originally cowherds or shepherds and they used wool from sheep of the village along with other materials to make their textile items. The Rabari community gets their name from Rah-Bari or people who stay out of the path. Out of the 16 different varieties of embroidery produced in Bhuj; the Rabari chain stitch embroidery enhanced with mirrors and small ghungroos is the prettiest and most popular.
Silk is now brought in from Bangalore, acrylic from Ludhiana and Cotton from West Bengal to make the finest handloom products. Weaving the designs takes days to months depending upon the exquisite detail of the design. Chaukta or a wooden frame and a shuttle loom are used to weave threads and the process is itself very interesting to watch. Lots of tourists visit Bhujodi to mingle with local weavers and learn about the weaving art. Men take care of the strenuous process of producing yarn on the loom while women do the designing and embroidery.
Handlooms and Handicrafts of Bhujodi VillageShawls, dupattas, stoles and carpets are some of the top textile products of Bhujodi. These products are mostly brightly colored as the Rabaris have a natural affinity towards flamboyancy. The mirror work edged around with the silken threads adds to the charm of the pieces. You can choose from embroidered bed covers, seat covers, odhanis, ghagra, chaniya choli and shawls of hundreds of different colors and designs. It’s interesting to note that in Bhujodi village the placement of embroidery on odhani denotes the caste of weaver who has woven it. Wagadia tribes for example make dupattas with embroidery on the border while Kachela tribes have concentric circular embroidery on dupatta.
The world around them, rituals and customs, flora and fauna of Bhuj and their personal imagination is all that the weavers and embroidery artists of Bhujodi have to inspire them. The only tool the community uses for embroidery is the needle and thread. Some arts like Kharad and Mushroo weaving have already been lost to the ravages of time as the tribes have died out.
In the homes of Bhujodi tribesmen it’s possible to purchase textile products at a fraction of the market price. You can check out Hiralaxmi Crafts Center, Ashapura Crafts Complex and Shrujan Crafts center if you want to make your purchases in a more modern setting.