A tribe is a form of community, a social division in terms of territory, economy, religion, blood-ties and culture; fundamentally we are all members of one tribe or another.
Tribal textiles are joyful celebrations of craftsmanship, colour and local distinctiveness instilled with pride by the maker, reflecting his hopes and dreams; the most skilful can be of astonishing quality. These often feature in tribal costume, and to those in the know, they are an immediate identifier of belonging to a village and family, and detailing status within the community.
In many indigenous communities, young girls would traditionally be taught the local, family embroidery and stitching techniques, becoming the recipients of ancestral ways of making clothes and furnishings. As an unfortunate downside to education, urban settlement and a busier life, many such skills and arts have gradually been lost.
Winter evenings are the time for needlework. in the past and not perhaps in India but certainly in Roumania and middle Europe where these traditions are just about hanging on…