Claiming descent from Krishna, the Bharwad tribes infiltrated Gujarat from Vrindavan, close to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Their dress is similar to that of the Rabaris, though the men are distinguishable by the peacock, parrot and flower motifs sewn into their Kehdiyun, and the women by their bright backless shirts, Kapadun, rarely covered by veils. Their embroidered Ghaghro skirts in 'Chopat' stitch take approximately two months to complete. Both men and women wear a thick Bori cloth around the waist.
In earlier times, Bharwads use to wear ivory ornaments. Women now wear Kambikadla, nickel-silver Karda, Kansu, Anguthi, Khoteritu, Falitu on ankles; Vedhla, Pokhrani, Kokarva, Dalyu, Pandaliya, Akota; Kanandita in ears; Nathli in nose and ivory Baloya on wrists. Men also wear ornaments on neck, fingers, armlet and a single earring called 'Variyo'. A fabulous display of Bahrwad jewellery can be witnessed at the annual Tarnetar Fair in September.
Mass marriages take place among the Bharvad every few years;
a custom originating as a form of protection in the Muslim period when
single girls were frequently victims of abduction (the kidnapping of
married girls was heavily punished). In the first week of each September
the Bharvads gather at the Trinetresvar temple in Tarnetar, 65-km from
Rajkot, celebrating with dances and songs and sheltering under the shade
of embroidered umbrellas made especially for the occasion. All Bharwad
groups meet at the Tarnetar Fair, celebrate Aatam Saaram in Dwarka, visit
their important temples in Tharagam in Banaskantha and Kankrej Taluka and
worship Shivpuri Bapa at Jajavada temple.
Bhrawads are known for their folk song alike Garbi at Navratri, also Hinch. Their folk songs are Garba, Bhajan, and Duba. Songs are also sung at ceremonies like Kholo Bharawano, Sagai and Lagan.
Bharwads are followers of Mata and have a connection with
Jhala and Vala Rajputs. They follow Hindu religion and believe in Gods and
Goddesses like Machhu, Khodiar, Nag Bai, Mahamai, Chamunda, Sindhui,
Jatral and Havechi. Their main Goddess is Machhu Mata located on the banks
of the Machhu River. They also worship the sun, moon, river, earth,
mountain, forest, tree, animals and snake and are known to indulge in
witchcraft and magic. The magician in the tribe is known as 'Bhuvo'.