• Mata Traders
  • 26 Sep, 2010


Everywhere we went, we noticed women wearing colorful, embroidered outfits that had a long skirt and a hooded waist-length cape.  Rather than a fashion craze, it was clear these outfits were designed to function as a modest cover-up worn in public.  Who were these ladies?  We asked a few times, only to be given the wrong information:  they were Jain, they were Parsi.  When we arrived at our new co-op in Maheshwar we were pleased to meet some of these ladies in person and find out their real identities.  They are Dawoodi Bohra women, a community that is a subsect of Islam.

Dawoodi Bohras are encouraged to educate themselves in both religious and secular knowledge, and as a result, the number of professionals in the community is rapidly increasing.  Dawoodi Bohra believe that the education of women is equally important to that of men, and some Dawoodi Bohra women choose to enter the workforce, although we were told that in this small town, that is not very common.  The women that we met at the co-op are highly skilled at embroidery and crochet work, and we are excited to put those skills to work on Mata’s 2011 Spring/Summer line.  In fact, while these Bohra outfits come ready-made, Saheeda, in blue below, applied the hand-stitched design herself.

Saheeda, Maria

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