The Thar Desert:
The Thar Desert stretches the length of the eastern border of Sindh and is known as the most fertile desert in the world. As the Thar Desert crosses the Indian border into Gujarat province, many cultures and traditions are shared between the two regions. Tribes not only have a strong tradition in agriculture but also mastering a number of crafts that offer both functional purpose and decorative appeal.
Embroidery is an important craft of the sub-continent. The sub-continent consists of two countries namely India and Pakistan. As these countries share the same border they have some similarities in their culture.
Tharparkar, the desert of Sindh province in Pakistan connecting with Cholistan and Nagarparkar in Pakistan and from the south of Haryana down to Rajasthan in India, continues to produce the most spectacular folk embroideries. Motifs, color and composition signify an individual’s group identity, occupation and, social status.
Tharparkar is part of a rambling desert that is one of the most inhospitable areas of Pakistan continues to produce some of its most special folk embroideries.
Thari culture is somewhat mixture of Gujrati, Rajistani and Sindhi culture. However the Rajistani culture over shadows the other two. Also the Thari Embroidery seems to be more inspired from Rajistan traditional embroidery however it has a colors, composition and motifs of its own.
Thar Embroidery Communities:
Maghwar community who are professional embroiderers, leather workers, tanners, builders and farmers, do the embroidery work in Tharparkar and they mostly are famous for all types of traditional embroidery stitches mentioned below except for Soof bharat and Bhindi Bandna which is done by the Suttar community.
Suttar community traditionally associated with woodcrafts within the Tharparkar region, the tribe is known for their whimsical soof patterns applied onto carved timber pieces such as saddles, farming tools, mortars and bowls.
The Suthar women demonstrate exquisite mastery of traditional Soof embroidery, which originates from the occupancy of the Sodha Rajputs in the 13thcentury.
There are Rabari community in Nangarparkar they have their unique type of embroidery but they do it for themselves they do not sell their embroidered products.