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Lambani embroidery

Lambani is derived from the Sanskrit word “ Lavana” meaning salt. Commonly known as Banjaras, they are said to be semi-nomadic tribe who are descendants of Arya Roma gypsies of Europe. They have said to have arrived in Rajasthan and trading salt and grains facilitated their move to different states. In Karnataka, they are known as Lambanis. The Lambanis follow an animistic religion, worshipping nature and respecting natural processes which are all reflected vividly in their craft. 

Kasuthi kelsa embroidery is unique to the Lambani embroidery. Their distinctive style uses vivid colours, and ornate embellishments. Geometrical shapes such as square, circle, rectangle, and diamond are embroidered with contrasting coloured threads and decorated with shells, coins, mirrors and beads. According to an interesting belief, Lambanis traditionally wore dresses with mirrors, to scare away wild animals in the jungles. 

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