bachakadiyo (Dowry Bag)

About this object

History of use

Used to carry dowry items to a wedding or given as a gift as part of a dowry.


Purchased by Milton and Beverly Israel while traveling in India.

Specific techniques

square chain stitch; laid work, couched; satin stitch; buttonhole stitch

Physical description

Small, flat, square, embroidered envelope-style bag, detailed with mirrors and pompoms, made by folding and stitching together three corners of a flat, square panel to form a pocket, with the fourth corner left open to serve as a flap or cover. The square-shaped embroidered motifs, formed from bars of satin stitch outlined in black, are grouped together into larger squares that are arranged in a grid, separated with narrow bands of alternating mirror-work and floral designs that form an X on the back of the bag. The square is bordered with mirror-work, alternating with floral designs. The embroidery is so dense that it completely covers the background textile. There are glass beads sewn onto the seams, which are worked in fine interlacing stitch. Small pompoms and glass beads are stitched to the lower corners. At the intersection of the three corners is a small white button, embellished with small coloured glass beads. The embroidery is underlined with red cotton textile that is printed with multicoloured designs.