Wednesday, May 25, 2011

At the Rabari Village

Now that the farmers were back from the fields, we went to visit a Rabari village. Their cattle were now tied up and feeding in simple pens made up of thorny acacia twigs. While men were busy milking their cows, the women made chapattis on an open stove. Clothes still hung out to dry on thorny bushes. One woman invited us into her house. Inside the second room, pots and other cooking utensils were neatly arranged along the wall. Along the narrow path, we had to watch where we stepped in order to avoids cows with sharp horns and copwies on the ground. Children greeted us, still licking their popsicle treats.

 My father got to meet some farmers and do some farm talk through our guide as an interpreter. Considering that the man was about half the size of my father, it was amazing how much physical labor they were capable of doing. The women proudly showed us they’re wide ivory bracelet given to them by their husband’s family upon marriage. After all, they were quite aware of all the hard work that she would soon do for the family. Also decorating her forearm were some triangular and diamond tattoo designs made mostly from dots. Both she and her husband wore large gold loop earrings at the top of their ears.

Further into the village, we saw an extended family for taking of a ceremony to Bala Bahuchar, the Hindu mother goddess. Large pots of rice, chapatis, and other food were first offered to the goddess, and then they ate. A farmer pushed his son who had severe cerebral palsy in a makeshift wheelchair made with a plastic chair. And father had recently purchased a repoussé silver leg symbol in hopes that his son would be cured and could then walk.

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