Exquisite hand-stitched patchwork and reverse applique cushion made by the Hindu Meghwar tribal women from a number of villages in Sindh, Pakistan.
I visited this area in February 2012 on a buying expedition, saw these cushions, which are a lot quicker and easier to make than quilts, and ordered some for my exhibition and sale.
Meghwar women have a worldwide reputation as magnificent artisans of thread and needle.
Although there is a remarkable resemblance to American patchwork and the theory that American missionaries in Pakistan in the 19th century taught these skills, the Meghwar tribes have been making their ralli (rilli) patchwork, applique and embroidered quilts for centuries. These women live in mud huts with a thatched grass roof, mud floor, no electricity and water collected from a well. These women live under strict Purdah rules and are not allowed outside their villages at all. The village men shop at the market in the nearest town. Also traders visit the village to sell goods and deal with the men. During the time these cushions covers were made the 2012 monsoon delivered huge rains and so it was very difficult. Massive flooding in 2010 and 2011 displaced millions of people in the Indus Valley.