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

Peach blossom; dispels evil. Phoenix; peace, prosperity. Butterfly; joy, brightness, true love. Flowers; supernatural omen. Bat; happiness and long life. Swastika, supreme good luck.

Physical description

Rectangular, embroidered cover of cream fabric and blue-black detailing. The central motif consists of peach blossom surrounded by a swastika design, four butterflies alternating with four bats. The diagonal corner designs are of bird and peach; opposite phoenix and flowers. There is a bowl of flowers at ends. Upper and lower edges are selvage; ends hemmed with a geometric design. Four cotton ties are sewn to selvages with pink thread.