Costume and Textiles
Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)Made in Faridpur District, Bangladesh, Asia
or West Bengal, India, Asia
Late 19th or early 20th century
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
Cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery in back, darning, satin, running, and seed stitches
1968-184-6Gift of Stella Kramrisch, 1968
LabelThe figures in the upper half of this kantha are, from left to right, the goddess Kali standing over a corpse while brandishing her ritual chopper and a severed head; flute-playing Krishna with Radha on a lotus; and a fan-bearing attendant-like woman on a rectangular mat (perhaps a kantha). Nuances of the composition imply that these figures narrate the Bengali tale of how, to avoid detection, Krishna miraculously transformed into Kali when Radha's mother nearly caught him in Radha's bedroom. The woman on the mat may be Radha's mother, now honoring the Goddess. The name Bemal (or Bimal) Kamini at upper left is likely that of the embroiderer, but may also be the recipient.
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