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


Iconographic meaning

Flower basket, old age. Butterfly; joy, conjugal felicity. Silkworm, industry. Vase of flowers, maintenance of peace. Pear; purity, justice,, longevity. Promegranate; offspring, posterity. Citron; Buddha's hand, wealth, divine protection. Peach; marriage, spring, immortality.

Physical description

Long, rectangular, brocade textile of cream fabric with indigo design. There are three hemmed edges and a raw top. The border, along the sides and bottom, consists of three bands. The outer band is made up of a triangular pattern. The central, wide band has a flowered diaper pattern, while the inner band has a floral pattern. Central design consists of a flower basket with suspended decoration; two inner designs of butterfly with silkworm motif, ribbon with tassel; two outer designs of stylized baskets with ribbon and tassel. There are four interspersed designs of butterflies, vase of flowers with pomegranate and pear. Corner designs are citron and peach.