If you like the unconventional, exotic, and artistic ‘bohemian’ inspired style, you may have come across a Banjara bag, clutch, or tote. They’re not common but, they aren’t uncommon either. These are unique bags deeply rooted to a creative tribal tradition of embroidery and textile flair.
The Banjara's name is derived from the word bajika, which means trade or business, and from banji, meaning peddlers pack. The name comes from the name given to the nomadic Lambadi people who are the largest gypsy group in India and are known as the root gypsies of the earth. The Banjara, an ethnic group composed of semi-nomadic tribes found throughout the Indian subcontinent , are renowned for hand making their highly colorful textiles embellished with mirrors, shells, and intricate embroidery.
These textiles are created to showcase their embroidery skill, protect the owner from harm, and channel auspicious powers. The Banjara technique is unique to Indian culture and displays and celebrates the exceptional tradition and craftmanship of the women who practice it.
The beauty of these textiles is that they are uniquely one of a kind. Unique to the woman who is making them in her style and craft. These textiles are not made en mass. Banjara textiles are stitched together with highly colorful textiles and quality stitching by hand to create outstanding, highly coveted bags, totes, and clutches.
It’s a time and labor intensive job making these bags by hand without the use of industrial machinery and the intricacy of patterns and materials.