>The words “Rabari” and “Kutch” held little meaning to me less than two weeks ago. I knew the suitcase of purses that sits in my closet must have come from India, and that the purses had such names, but that was mainly because the suitcase smelled like curry, and the tags said “Rabari” and “Kutchi” on them. But, I had no idea what the hands looked like that intricately and joyfully stitched each mirror into place. After spending many days in the villages around Gandidam, I can now say that I have a greater and more intimate connection with the artisans. And that makes all the difference. I know why, now, they use the mirrors and the brightly colored thread and the buttons. I know more than that, though. I know the woman’s face, and the face of her sons, for whom she makes the dowry bag. And I now have a picture in my mind’s eye of what her village looks like, with its winding alleys and wandering cows and shoe-less, bright-eyed children. I look forward to returning to the states to describe her life to our supporters, and to tell her story. And I look forward to returning to visit her, and see her new designs, and encourage her by telling her purse is all the rave in the U.S.