Traditionally, Ajrakh was only worn by nomadic pastoralist and agricultural communities like the Rabaris, Maldharis and Ahirs. Originally it was worn around the waist as a ‘lunghi’, wrapped the head as ‘safa’ turban, or simply flung over the shoulder as a utility cloth. Often small purchases were tied into the four corners of the shoulder cloth and larger goods like vegetables and grains into each end. This cloth was also used as a portable prayer mat by Muslims. It was also given as a gift for the Muslim festival of Eid, for bridegrooms, and for other special occasions.
This versatile and beautiful textile was used in many ways by the wearer. This cloth was an essential everyday commodity and adornment as well as a symbol of their identity.
Many say they feel incomplete, partially clothed or even ill at ease without their ‘Ajrakh’ and will have an extra special piece of ‘Ajrakh’ stored for auspicious occasions!