Headdress, Banjara, Gujarat, India.

The Banjara are a semi-nomadic people who reside in south, west and central India. In the Mughal era, the community was engaged in transporting provisions and trading goods. Their habit of living in isolated groups, away from others, characteristic of their nomadic days, still persists and they live in the tanda, settlements, on the fringes of towns. Like most rural peoples in India, the Banjara must carry water daily from a communal well or river to their dwelling.

This is a beautiful example of Banjara headgear with a pot-ring for stabilizing the water jar and an very long panel with hundreds of cowrie shells that hangs down to protects a Banjara woman's back from splashing water. Cowries are very auspicious as they represent Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity.

Materials: Cotton; cotton thread; cowrie shells. Condition: wear and use, missing pieces……

L. 80 cm, 31.5 inch.