sainchi phulkari (Shawl)

About this object

History of use

Traditionally an important part of bride's trousseau. Worn by women; also used as bedspread, curtain, or wall hanging.

Iconographic meaning

Lotus signifies universal life force and the opening up of consciousness for the divine. Peacock symbolizes beauty and immortality.

Physical description

A long rectangular cotton cloth (khaddar) of three hand sewn long panels with the sides unfinished along the top and bottom. Blanket stitched and embroidered in three sections with silk threads. Mid-section has central circular motif surrounded by four borders of squares, zigzags, flowers, and birds. Circular motif is a lotus. Repeated on each corner, there are nine humans of varying sizes performing activities such as a couple getting married, smoking, playing games, dancing and walking. There are many scattered peacocks, parrots, and other animals. Also, a train, engine, and three coaches in the lower left corner, and pieces of shringar patti (head jewelry) in the upper left corner. Top and bottom are bordered with three rows of circles enclosed in diamonds. Two end sections are almost mirror images. Bordered with six rows of circles in diamonds and a row of eleven peacocks surmounted by two large peacocks. There is a different animal at each corner. Two humans on one end with one on the other standing atop a steed. Colours include red, orange, dark yellow, yellow, indigo, and white on a brown background.