ganesha sthapana (Hanging)

About this object

History of use

Wall hanging worshipped by bride and groom.

Cultural context

Wedding; Hinduism.

Iconographic meaning

Gods, animals, symbols, and flowers represent virtue, beauty, and good fortune. Krishna with his sacred flute is associated with kindness and goodness. Ganesh, the elephant-headed, four-armed god, overcomes obstacles and bears good luck. Surya, the sun god, represents life and fertility; cows symbolize abundance. Elephants represent power and authority; peacocks symbolize beauty and immortality; a rat is the vahana of Ganesh and the swastika is his sign; shape corresponds to longitudinal section of gabled shrine.

Physical description

Square-based pentagon; white front; natural printed lining; machine bound with red bias tape; white bias loop at each corner; embroidered before figures are filled with fishbone stitch; male at top centre with orange body, red face and multi-coloured cap and clothing; elephant-headed male, lower centre has an orange body and multi-coloured cap; two red cows are at lower corners; two blue elephants are above; one blue and one green peacock are at each top corner. Multi-coloured, six-petalled flowers form a border; multi-coloured, small symbols, furnishings, and a long-tailed animal are scattered between figures; loop at top right is broken; lining has a small hole in centre.