Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
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Along the triple diamond border at bottom marches an elaborate wedding procession consisting of mounted elephants and horses, two palkis (palanquins) holding seated couples, and musicians accompanying the revelry on dhol (double drum) and shenai (long horn). This type of palki procession was common to Muslim and Hindu marriages alike, and can still be seen in parts of rural Bangladesh today. At right, the two birds enclosed in the upper central chamber of a rainbow-roofed processional chariot suggests that the chariot may be a Muslim tazia, pulled during the annual mourning festival of Muharram. At left, a locomotive crosses a rail bridge, the kantha's outer wave border doubling as the river.