Costume and Textiles
Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)Made in Khulna District, Bangladesh, Asia
or West Bengal, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
Cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery in back, darning, running, fern, dot, eye, and seed stitches
Currently not on view
1994-148-681Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994
LabelThree objects cluster at the upper left of the central square of this kantha: a kula (U-shaped rice-winnowing tray), a dheki (long foot-pumped grain thresher), and what is likely a stalk of rice. In rural Bengal, winnowing and threshing were most often women's work. The common and auspicious kula plays a major role in Bengali rituals, from rites to bring rain to those surrounding marriage and children. The dheki also had a role in traditional weddings. In the border to the left, a blue Shiva linga (the rounded pillar that is the mark of this god) is set below hanging lamps within a curve-roof structure with overhanging eaves and sconces projecting at the sides. This shrine resembles the famous Shiva temple at Tarakeshwar near Kolkata (Calcutta), a major pilgrimage site for infertile women.