Mat

About this object

History of use

The antiquity of woven mats in India is supported by archaeological evidence and references in ancient texts. Mats are among the most important of household items in every strata of society. They are essential to most domestic activities and are used in sleeping, eating, sitting, and entertaining. The finest mats of West Bengal are woven of madur grass, grown and harvested by weavers of Hindu cultivator castes. This village-based industry is now assisted by the West Bengal Home Industry Board to establish cooperatives for mat transport and marketing. This mat was purchased from the weaver.

Cultural context

floor covering

Iconographic meaning

The peacock is a symbol of the monsoon, love, and Krishna.

Physical description

Rectangular grass mat of fine regular weave. In the centre of the mat is a natural-coloured rectangle. Within the rectangle are two green blocks with a peacock motif. Around the rectangle is a large border with green geometric, vine and floral motifs. The ends of the mat have striped bands. Long weaving threads are tied off at one end.