Cover

About this object

History of use

Blue and white embroideries are part of an ancient 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

utilitarian;household

Iconographic meaning

Butterfly; joy, conjugal felicity. Bat; happiness, long life. Dish of flowers; beauty, harmony. Beads and tassels are Buddhist symbols.

Physical description

Plain cover with blue embroidery in delicate floral motifs. Central motif: dish of flowers with beads and tassel; surrounded by four butterflies. Upper corner motifs: stylized bats with flowers and ribbons. Upper motif on left appears distorted. Lower corner motifs: branches and flowers. Top and bottom selvages; ends have wide indigo bias binding and inner row of braid. Four tapes attached to braid at upper and lower edges.