Rabaris of Kutch are believed to be the descendents of ‘Sambal’, a mythical being created by lord Shiva to rear camels. The clan migrated from Afghanistan, some even believe that Rabari’s were the natives of Sindh who then migrated to Kutch in search of grazing lands.
Their men are always dressed in white clothes, a white ‘Choksi’ paired with white ‘Kediyu’ or an ‘Abho’ along with an ‘Ajrakh’ handkerchief on shoulders pretty much defines their style. Gold or silver earrings are a must for both the women and men of the tribe. Rabari women dress in black Ghagra-choli and odhnis, with indigenous motifs embroidered on them. The legend has it that once a Muslim king fell in love with one of the Rabari daughters. When several of his proposals were denied by Rabaris, the king grew angry and threatened to kill them all. Rabaris were forced out of their land in search of a new safe place and were assisted by one of the court’s men in doing so. Knowing about the whole incident, the king accused the Muslim man of treachery and killed him.
To pay homage to the man who saved the grace of the Rabari clan, their women still wear black clothes. This story of loyalty still pervades through the Kutch region in the unity of both religions.