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Pabiben (Profile)

Hailing from the Rabari community, Pabiben is a pioneering entrepreneur at the forefront of a community-led empowering women’s enterprise. 


Rabaris are one of the most interesting ethnic communities in Kutch (originally nomadic but today, mostly settled). Embroidery is a vital, living and evolving expression of the aesthetic traditions of the community. Initially, embroidery was executed only for personal use (connected with the women’s dowries); but was gradually banned for personal use by the community elders, and only allowed professionally. Responding to the new challenges, women invented the use of trims and ribbons, applied by machine; an art that came to be known as Hari Jari. Pabiben mastered this art with enthusiasm, and since 1998, started churning out bags that became instantly popular in the contemporary market. 

Rabari embroidery is robust, with bold shapes. Designs are taken from mythology and from the desert surroundings. They use glass mirrors in various shapes, and a rich range of stitches and techniques in bold colours. 

Her collection presents a range of bags, and everyday accessories from Pabiben’s ever increasing repertoire of contemporary adaptations of the craft of Rabari embroidery.