Photographer's Note

Hodka Village is located in the district of Kachchh (Kutch) in the state of Gujarat in India. It lies at the distance of 63 km from Bhuj. The name Hodka is derived from the Gujarati word 'hodi' which means boat. Hodka village is believed to have been set up by the 'Halepotra' clan from Sindh who were cattle herders in search of pastures. This was around 300 years ago! The Meghwals, who came originally from Marwar in Rajasthan to Sindh in Pakistan in the 17th century, have also settled in Hodka over time.

The amount of jewellery worn by the women & girls of Kachchh amazed us! Meghwal women are known for their colorful and exuberantly detailed costumes and jewellery. Married women wear an elaborate gold nose ring called 'Velado.' It is a sign of marriage and worn only on special occasions. Some nose rings are so heavy that the weight of it is suspended by a beaded chain, which is connected to her hair.

Unmarried Meghwal girls wear three beads drop earrings in upper ear, even from a tender age...like the little girl on the right whom I met in Hodka village. While her little sister played along with us, she looked rather sad...did not utter her name & her looks were distant. I still wonder why!

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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