The Narikuravar community is a tribal semi-nomadic indigenous group living in south India. The name “Narikurava” means “jackal people” in Tamil. They are named for their adeptness in hunting, even though they are no longer allowed to pursue their livelihood in local forests. These days, you’ll find people from the Narikuravar community selling small items, including these handmade beaded necklaces, at bus stations and busy markets across the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Narikuravar tribe is believed to have migrated to Southern India from Northern India country around half a millennium ago. Their language, ‘Vagriboli’, is an Indo-Aryan mix of Marathi, Telugu, and Tamil that has no script – a normal tendency for nomadic or semi-nomadic communities.
This indigenous group of people has faced discrimination against them since ancient times, primarily because of their nomadic lifestyle and consumption of animals, considered taboo by Hindus and upper-caste communities within India. The gypsy communities of India sit at the absolute bottom of society, even below the caste system. Poverty, illiteracy, diseases and discrimination are the major issues that confront the Narikuravars. Girls within the community are often married off directly after they menstruate and can become mothers as early as 14 years old.
Discover beautiful fair trade accessories and gifts from Shakti.ism, a social enterprise brand on a mission to empower and support marginalised women.
They partner with local grassroots NGOs to ensure their support is reaching people who need it most. Often these are women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of gender-based violence as well as other disadvantages.
Shakti.ism and their partners create a supportive space for the women to develop their skills as artisans and entrepreneurs. This training and support creates far-reaching ripples of change. It helps ensure the women have a sustainable livelihood for the future, breaks the cycle of poverty and preserves local traditions.
Every item in the Shakti.ism collection represents a brighter future, in the form of dignified employment, a living wage, hope and opportunities – for both the women themselves and their children.
Shop for one-of-a-kind pouches, tote bags, yoga mats and more, all of which are handmade using repurposed and recycled donated sari fabric.