Greetings tribalistas!

It’s time for another 3 Minute Ethnography, or “I love wearing that jewelry but don’t really have any idea about where it comes from and don’t have time to watch a whole documentary but want to be semi-informed.”   So if you love bits and baubles like this:

 

 

…then today’s 3 Minute Ethnography is for you!

*Photo credits above:  Designer earrings from Bhandari Jewellers, Banjara belt from Ethnic Connections, Blue Jaipur tie-dye skirt from India Mart, Jaipur tie-dye cotton skirt from Indian Trend,  Wood carved bench from India Mart, Carved Painted Mini Chests from India Mart

Rajasthan, India in 3 Minutes

To understand the colorful culture of the people of Rajasthan, we really need to talk first about the colorful place itself.  Rajasthan is the largest state in India, located in the northwest part of the country.  It is home to incredibly diverse geography and cityscapes, including the inhospitable Thar Desert (or Rajasthan Desert).  It is said that traveling across India one can see how dramatically the culture, language, and even color of the land changes every 15 minutes.

“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.”

Romain Rolland

Map_India

jaisalmer - thar desert - india

3 Cities You Should Know:

Jaipur – the Pink City

Jodhipur – the Blue City

Udaipur

Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan.  It became known as the Pink City when in the mid 1800s the Prince of Wales visited, and the residents painted the whole town pink (already dominated by a pink hue from the sandstone buildings) in his honor to make a lasting impression.  In fact, it’s rated the 7th best place to visit in all of Asia. Jaipur’s tradition of gemstone cutting, polishing, and jewelry-making by hand has put it on the map globally for their incredibly intricate designer jewelry pieces.

 

Above: Selections from the famous Bhandari Designer Jewellers

amrapali2

Above: Selections from another famous jeweller, Amrapali Jewellers

13736969064_641e6de927_zThe renowned ‘Palace Of The Winds’, or Hawa Mahal, is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur city. Built of red and pink sandstone, is believed to have been constructed in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god.

9713805222_f2b3c62712_zJal Mahal (meaning “Water Palace”) is a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city.

Jodhipur – the Blue City

Try not to fall under the spell of the indigo-painted buildings that make up the magical city of Jodhipur, Rajasthan.  In addition to being famous for its color, Jodhipur is a global leader in hand-stitched, hand-painted textiles.  Some of the finest embroidery is stitched using a single goat hair as a needle and can take 6-7 years for one person to complete!

huffpost1huffpost2huffpost3huffpost4

Above Photos from the Huffington Post: “Discover the Blue City of Jodhipur” by Laura Grier

embroidery
Sample of detailed embroidery work from Jodhipur, photo from Rangsutra Crafts

 

efa51bb6c4ba378a39869c0b37cd6637--indian-prints-indian-textiles
Photo from Accompany

 

And for our final stop of the mini tour of Rajasthan, we head to Udaipur, where you’ll find one of the most incredible panoramic views in India.   Udaipur is known as “the City of Lakes” and even the “Venice of India” due to the number of lakes and waterways that connect the city.    The City Palace, built in the 1500s for the royal family on the hills overlooking Udaipur and its lakes,  gives you a bit of perspective:

 

 

udaipur-city-palace
Photo from Rajasthan Direct

 

 

painting
This incredibly detailed painting is typical of the famous Rajasthani miniature paintings – only about a foot long and high!  Available from ebay!

 

Well that’s all today. Next time we’ll explore the culture, music and dance traditions of Rajasthan…. so be sure to subscribe or follow us on Facebook or Instagram so you don’t miss out on this two-parter!

Do you like learning more about the communities from which our bohemian and tribal fusion aesthetic draws?   Check out some of our other 3-minute Ethnographies – digestible bits you can read during a commercial break:

Turkmens

Kuchi

Tuaregs