toran (Hanging)

About this object

History of use

Hung on lintel of courtyard entrance as a sign of welcome during festivals, particularly Divali.

Cultural context

Festival; Hinduism.

Physical description

Rectangle with seven pentagonal leaves attached to lower long edge; background white; lined with light brown; bound in grey; tapes lined in light brown hang from top; background and binding of leaves are in variegated colours; lined in light brown or grey print; rectangle embroidered centrally with horizontal pattern of geometric purple diamonds, shading into orange with spaced round mirrors; surrounded by border of round mirrors, blue checks, matching purple diamonds, and mirrors; edge pattern in multi-coloured triangles with three-prong top decorations and mirrors; patterns separated by six embroidered lines of orange and white, green and purple; leaves embroidered with stylized multi-coloured flowers, birds, and mirrors; floral-like, cloth tassels at each lower point. Embroidery is fishbone, cross, blanket, and chain stitches. Machine-sewn except for three hand-bound leaves. Tassels missing and binding frayed on two leaves. Embroidery stitches broken in diamond patterns. Some mirrors missing. Lining stained.