Large mid-20th century collectable RABARI TRIBAL IDANI (head pad) collected from Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India. 17cm diam x 8cm deep x 27 cm tail. Ceremonial/festival use.
Idani's are worn on the head by tribal women to carry water, firewood or other heavy items. Highly decorated idanis may be used in ceremonial or special occasions.
Highly decorated purple cotton embroidered with dense, typically Rabari buttonhole stitch embroidery and shisha (mirror) work with multi-coloured camel or goat hair pompoms and white buttons. The tail is triangular - the symbol for 'female' - an also embroidered in dense embroidery, decorated with mirrors and buttons with small beads sewn into the centre. Like the pad itself, the tail is edged in multicoloured pompoms.
I purchased this idani personally from a third generation textile collector and trader on my visit to Bhuj, Gujarat in February 2012.