When I took this picture of Lambani or Lamani tribal in Goa, I never knew I would write about her. I was particularly impressed with this smiling lady with silver and lac jewelry hanging around her neck, ears, nose, wrists, fingers, toes, ankles and even adorning her hair.
Sitting outside her little roadside shop she gave me a contended smile and happily posed for photos. She was wearing a vibrantly coloured ‘mirrored’ dress that attracted many a curious tourists including me. Her shop was full of anything & everything colorful and exotic.. .. from hand bags, embroidered shirts/tops to tapestry and intricate jewelry.
I tried to ask many questions which she could understand but could not answer me in any common language. Except for a few selected English words such as ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’ and a little counting (one, two etc.) our common language was sign language. But later I saw some from her tribe at the Flea market speaking fluent English. Probably this lady was new to the town.
The people of the Lambani tribe are said to be from Karnataka and can mostly be found living in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and northern Karnataka. But looking at their work, I could have mistaken them to have originated from Rajasthan or Gujarat.
Gypsy by nature, the Lambani women’s main work is to embroider bright coloured cotton fabrics with a mosaic of patchwork mirrors. Their work is sought after for its vibrancy of pattern and colour which has hundreds of small mirrors into different compositions. Each piece depicts an aspect of the Lambani creation myths.
They are great travelers, they can be found in groups throughout the central and southern parts of India selling their clothes at markets and tourist places. The Lambani women are the main breads-winners in their families. They are worshippers of Shakti, the female energy or force.
The Lambani women commonly wear silver jewelry laden with bells. Some of it has pyramid shaped large silver torque around the neck. They are said to represent bee hives, as the Lambani were once known as a bee-keeping tribe.
They mostly wear bangles made of lac. I saw some of them with their head shaven at the back of their head and I think probably that is one of the reasons why they cover their heads in this fashion. Later she undid her scarf and wore it like any other Indian woman.
I am planning to do an interview with them when I go there next time.
Wow, look at her jewellery! Gypsys have no homeland, and thats really their identity 🙂 By the way the words with green double underlines are ads. Did you insert them?
Hi Cuckoo! Back home and profiting from the holidays, I’m trying to catch up your posts (What a nice week: June 10th, Portugal’s Day; June 13th, Lisbon’s Day – St. Anthony of Lisbon, not Padua… ;)).
This is anoter of your wonderful informative posts. And beautiful pictures to ilustrate!! Excellent job!
Thanks also for your comments at Blogtrotter, which has now landed in Santiago de Compostela! Hope you enjoy, and have a nice weekend!
Wow, great to see that you are continuously updating your blog, continuing to explore different places, and even expanded your blog to new horizons with different sections now too!
Did you end up getting anything from the Lambani lady?
Interesting… if u just showed the pic, i would, in all probability, would have said they are from rajasthan…
Interesting! You seem to have a very deep knowledge of the different Indian cultures! … and you plan to go even deeper in your research!
Did you buy a colourful dress?
have u seen their dance ? And I hope u bought some jewellery as well
great great photos! i love pictures of locals.
and did you see the dance!
No, I did not insert those ads. They have come with Adbrite. Need to remove them.
Welcome again after a break ! Thanks for all the appreciations.
Yes, I bought a sling bag with mirror work. 😀
Thanks for your visit, keep coming.
Even I thought she was originally from Rajasthan.
Yes, I think I have some knowledge of Indian cultures. Not only Indian but I try to understand others as well.
No, I did not buy any. I already have some. 🙂
No, I could not. She was too shy. Next time I am going to do that.
Thank you, thank you.
No, I did not see her dance. Reserved for next time. 🙂
Interesting post Cuckoo.
I have a picture, I guess, of the same Lambani woman in my post titled Goa dated April 7, 2008:
There is something about these local pics….their face and their open and ready smile….! Very good and loved the narrative.
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Checked your post. No, it is not the same. Come on, Goa is full of Lambani’s.
Thank you, I knew you’d love it.
Yes, I visited the site. Thank you for the link.
Had some suggestion though, will visit again & let you know.
She looks so cool, totally the rockstar of Goa. Too bad you couldn’t communicate with her, although that might help her mystique!
The photo shown here may change and it may taken from Bijapur/Bagalkot .The pictere shown here is not exibiting full culture of community viz.adornments (leg,ear,hands etc)
Such an interesting post! Meeting new people and experiencing new cultures is the best part of travelling. The photo is so colorful and vibrant. I hope you do interview them the next time you’re in Goa…it would make an extremely interesting article. 🙂
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Yes i belong to Lambi group. I have seen all comments posted here. And I would like to tell you , that is we were orginally orginated from Rajasthan that our history tells we were from that place. the interesting part is u should watch the lambani night dance (female group dance all together with one by one steps) its fantastic than MJ’s break dance. and its true believe me.
for any queries send me mail