The Lambani women embroider bright rainbow-coloured fabrics covered with a mosaic of patchwork mirrors. Their work is sought after by collectors for its vibrancy of pattern and colour, and for the unusual technique of sewing hundreds of small mirrors into the compostion. Each piece depicts an aspect of the Lambani creation myths.
Lambanis, also called banjaras, originally hail from Rajasthan. It is said that the Lambanis were working as soldiers in the army of Rajputs. After the decline of Rajputs, the Britishers took over the reigns of the country. It was then that the lambanis left their home towns in groups and settled in hillocks and faraway places to save themselves from the Britishers. Thousands of families settled down in Karnataka too. These people speak their own language which has no script. But they have also learnt Kannada. Lambanis are traditionally engaged in the collection of firewood, construction work and knitting lambani dresses.
Modernism may have made inroads into their tradition, but nearly 70 per cent of the people are still continuing in the footsteps of their predecessors. More >>