Sunday, 6 February 2011

Rabari Dancing "Girls" (or Gopis)

Photo © Tewfic-El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
This is my first post since arriving in India on January 27 to lead my In Search of Sufis of Gujarat Photo-Expedition. As my internet connection is somewhat tenuous (even though we're staying at the sumptuous Imperial Palace in Rajkot), this post will be brief. The photo-expedition has progressed quite smoothly in the quest of Sufi centers in the southern part of the Gujarati peninsula. We were welcomed, and treated with the utmost courtesy by the guardians of the various shrines we visited; some were very popular with devotees whilst others were almost deserted...but more will be explained when I do my end of photo expedition verdict in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, the above photograph is of a small group of Rabari women whom we chanced on on the road to Junagadh. They belong to small sect of Rabari pastorals who believe they are descended from Krishna's dancing girls known as gopis. On their way to a temple (or mandir), they performed one of their dances for our lenses. I have many more of these, but I'm pressed for time so this will do for now.

We are on our way to the tribal lands of Gujarat, and we should be in Bhuj tomorrow for the start of the Kacchh section of the photo-expedition.