HAND-STICHED PATCHWORK RALLI QUILT | PAKISTAN, MEGHWAR TRIBAL VILLAGE, THARPARKER DESERT, SINDH
Old utilitarian hand-stiched patchwork ralli quilt hanging/bedcover/throw made by Sindhi tribal woman in rural Pakistan. 128 x 230cm.
Red and pale blue square and triangle design bordered by borders of royal blue, yellow, green and pink. With an outer boarder of printed cotton. Backed with handloom (khan) brown / badge cotton.
The rural villages of Tharparker (Thar desert) in Sindh province are located in one of the more remote regions of Pakistan. The huts are round and made of mud with thatched rooted and are located in clusters surrounded by walls - each is a family compound and many compounds clusters together into a village. The huts have compressed mud / dung floors that has been polished to a very hard, cement-like consistency. There is no electricity and water is collected from a well. I was told the well water is quite polluted now and only villagers can drink it without being sick. The women are often subject to the practice of PURDAH which is a Muslim rule where women are not allowed out of their villages ever. The men must shop at the nearby town or hawkers come to the village to sell fabrics, threads and food.
It is a wonderful thing to see the quilts these women make. They have patterns in their head and cut the fabrics without paper patterns or any instructions. The women reuse old fabric from shawls, skirts, saris and other clothing to make these quilts that are then used to sit on the ground, to make cover beds, to cover household items like mirrors, by the snake charmers to hold their snakes and blankets on donkeys and camels. They are used by nomads in their tens and often can be seen drying on fences and brushes after a wash by the river.