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PAKISTAN, village, near Mithi, Tharparker desert, Sindh. 

Vintage circa late 20th century hand-sticked patchwork ralli quilt bedcover/throw made by a Meghwar tribal woman in a remote mud-hut village about 10 hours drive from Karachi. 210x135cm

The Meghwar villages of Tharparker (Thar Desert) in Sindh province are located in one of the most remote regions of Pakistan. The huts are round and made of mud with thatched rooves and are located in clusters surrounded by walls - each is a family compound and many compounds cluster together into a village. The huts have compressed mud/dung floors that had been polished into 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 getting sick. The Meghwar, although Hindu, practice PURDAH which is a Muslim rule where women are not allowed out of their compounds. The men must shop at the nearby town or traders come to the village to sell fabrics, threads and food. It is a wonderful thing to see the bright, exquisite quilts these women make. Their patterns are memorised and they cut the fabrics without paper patterns or any instructions. When I travelled to this region the women massaged my calves when I arrived as they knew I had come a long way. We walked a track through the sandhills to the walled village. Embroidery and quilt -making by the Meghwar women of Pakistan and India are said to be some of the best in the world.