As we continue to feature items soon to be released in the Q.A.C webstore for purchase June 1st, in this week's Cultural Beauty series, I wanted to feature the Rabari Tribe of India. Not only are these strong women leaders in their communities, but for the better part of thousands of years, they have been at the forefront of what is now being called "Boho / Bohemian" fashion. Now lets pause here, because if we're being really honest here? The traditional accessories these women wear goes so far beyond the generic term "boho."
Beginning at the age of 5 years old, Rabari women begin adorning their bodies with silver. Not only is the silver seen as an aspect of tribal beauty, but it is considered an investment should a family experience economic hardship.
Consisting of 133 different sub-tribe groups, silver jewelry is worn in different styles with various etchings or inscriptions.
These markings, and especially where is it worn on the body, often indicate gender, marital status, region of family descent, or specific rituals / tribal history.
Most importantly, silver jewelry is used to identify the uniqueness of each of the 133 sub-tribe groups. Traditionally dressed in black, clad in heavy brass adornments, woman of the Rabari tribe (just one of the 133 regional tribes in India) are easily identifiable and distinguishable from the countless others.
In short, while fashion has taken what is a vibrant and beautiful culture and watered it down to blonde hair ... fun beachwear ... festival ready attire ... and all things hippie / gypsy chic, please know that there is so much more to this style aesthetic. As I mentioned last week's Maasai jewelry post, knowing the history and meaning behind the fashion pieces we wear is incredibly important. It not only allows us to become informed consumers, but it also helps to show the proper respect and reverence these cultures deserve. When fully realized, we soon understand that catch all phrases like "tribal," "ethnic," "boho," or the ever popular "african inspired" .... just isn't enough. These indigenous style originators are have a legacy ... A name ... They are far beyond just bohemian.
Love the accessories? All bangles pictured above are direct from India and will be available for purchase from the Q.A.C webstore 6/1. Follow Queen Adwoa's Closet on Facebook to be the 1st to learn when item go live!
Peace & Love ... Till the next Journey ...