About this object

History of use

Blue and white embroideries are part of a long domestic tradition. Designs vary geographically but are constant within generations of families except for minor individual variations. Often used to decorate the bed which traditionally played a focal part in household ritual particularly at the new year when all household spirits were honored. They are family made, by women, and family owned. These embroideries were of no local commercial value.

Cultural context


Iconographic meaning

Tree symbolizes life giving spring. The butterfly represents joy, brightness and true love. The swastika, supreme good luck; the phoenix, peace and prosperity; Buddha's hand, wealth and divine protection. The bat represents happiness and long life.

Physical description

Long, rectangular, brocade textile of cream fabric and indigo design. There is a rinceau border on the sides and base with a design consisting of butterflies, floral motifs, Buddha's hands and swastika designs. The two short edges are selvedge; two long edges are hemmed. The centre has five stylized floral and geometric medallions separated by four sets of smaller medallions. Right outer medallion includes: bird, bat, Buddha's hand, swastika designs. Right inner: tree, leaves, flower and swastika. The centre medallion: urn, flower, swastika, Buddha hand. The right inner; tree, and flowers. Left outer; tree and Buddha's hand. Between the medallions are trees, urns, flowers, and swastika designs.