Rabari poppy mortar

Our assortment features a vast array of Rabari mortars. The Rabari are an indigenous tribal caste of nomadic cattle and camel herders living in northwest India, known for their distinctive bulky turbans. 

The Rabari have many legends surrounding their origins. One tale recounts the story of Mahadeva (Parvati), the great mother goddess of India. She molded a camel from the dust and sweat she cleaned from her consort Lord Shiva as he meditated. But the camel kept running away. So she created the first Rabari to mind it. Consequently, the Rabari view themselves as custodians, rather than owners, of their herds.

Our unique, more then 50-year-old wooden mortars have been employed by the Rabaris to prepare traditional medicines and opium poppy, as depicted in these pictures. Each mortar is one-of-a-kind, yet they consistently feature stylized animal heads on the spout and handle, believed to bring luck or protection. Carved from hardwood, the mortars demonstrate the remarkable skill of the craftsmen who delicately shaped their characteristic forms and intricate patterns.

Pictures of the Rabari by Willemien Koperberg (made in the 70-ties)

(prices vary based on age and quality of the carvings)

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