The Rabaris is one of the nomadic tribes of Rajasthan. Nomadic tribes are those who travel from place to place for their livelihood. The word Rabari means "outsiders" which perfectly describes their primary occupation of raising camels, cattle and goats.
There is a belief which goes on with the origin of the Rabaris. It is believed that the first Rabari man was created by Lord Shiva to take care of the camel created by Parvati for her amusement.
The tribe is divided into two groups - Menu and Chalkais. The Menus deal only in camels while the Chalkais keep most of the cattle and goats.
Rabari community is further divided into 133 sub casts. The social structure of the Rabari's is matrilineal where women are the governing authorities of the business affairs and men cater to the care of animal herds. The primarily worship Mata Devi, the great all-embracing goddess and celebrate a community function named Punj in the Navratras of every year.
Historically, the Rabaris used to spend their nomadic lives living in tents or under the open skies. However, keeping pace with the modern world, majority of them sheltered themselves in the outskirts of cities, towns and villages. The tribe is also believed to be the founder of Indus Valley Civilization.
As the time passed, the women of this matriarchal tribe turned their occupation to artwork like embroidery and beadwork. They perform embroidery on clothes, bags, household decorations and animal trappings. Some of them also spin wool from their sheep and provide that to local weavers to convert it into woolen skirts, veils, blankets and turbans.The people of Rabari tribe don’t have much worldly possessions. Mostly the earthen pots are used by them for cooking and eating. Layers upon layers of rags are stitched together to form the only bedding of mattresses.