The Beadwork Khoyla Sisters

〣 Location: Bhuj, Gujarat | India
〣 No of Artisans: 3
〣 Specialty Skills: Bead Weaving

"Beading is our way of life which helps give us a sense of identity. Whatever income we earn from this, we will save for the future." - Jasuben Khoyla

Image above: The Khoyla sisters' village.

Gujarat, the western coastline state of India, often referred to as the "Jewel of Western India" - its food, architecture, people and scenery are what make Gujarat special.

Image above: Jasuben (eldest of 3 sisters) beading.

Beading, a traditional craft that has been passed down through generations in the Khoyla family, our bead work weavers are a family of three women producers from Kachchh. Bead by bead, each pair of earrings is handwoven for at least four to six hours. Armed with a metal tray, beading needle and pliers, the sisters have acquired this skill since young.

Crafted by this artisan community:


Image above: Paba bhai and his wife; parents of the 3 Khoyla sisters.

A recurring narrative from our conversations with the Khoyla family is the importance of hard work and honesty. Mama Khoyla wakes up at 5AM every morning and prepares food not only for her immediate family but her brother-in-law's as well (as he passed away from a motorcycle accident some time ago). 3 meals a day, for 9 people - she mentioned that being active is a necessity as she wishes not to be a burden to others when she grows old. Her eldest daughter, Jasuben, takes after her mother - constantly wearing a smile on her face as she beads over many hours. Her occasional encouragement to her younger sisters like 'kaam hi pooja hai' (work is workship), is an inspiration to her younger siblings.

One of our goals at Our Barehands is to ensure that our producing communities have a sustainable livelihood - one where they will not have to worry about theirs or their family’s next meal. It’s simple; we believe that the more demand and appreciation there is for their work, the more income can be generated for Jasuben and her family.