Split-Ply Weaving At A Cattle & Camel Fair

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Candace Whalen | 0 Comments

It had been on my travel wish list for many years, and this February we finally made it to the Nagaur Cattle And Camel Fair in Rajasthan.




In several large fields on the outskirts of town, something like 70,000 horses, cattle, and camels change hands over "several" days.  (The length of the fair and its dates vary and, as we discovered, can change on quite short notice.)









We saw plenty of cattle at the fair, as well as Marwari horses with their curiously curved ears.  But we were especially interested in the camels.










The fair, naturally, attracted vendors who set up temporary stalls to sell all sorts of products that fair-goers would find useful.







With textiles always on our minds, we were on the look-out for anyone who might be selling split-ply camel girths.  The braiding of camel girths is a traditional handcraft, and the split-ply technique originated with the herdsmen of western Rajasthan.  We searched the stalls and had nearly come to the conclusion that, in Nagaur at least, hand woven girths had given way entirely to machine manufactured products.  Then we spotted a few, and the vendor was happy to pull out more when we expressed interest.  We bought all that we could carry, which wasn't very many since they're surprisingly heavy.


Now we look forward to offering the ones that we brought home for sale in our Ebay store.





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