Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

Artist/maker unknown, Bengali

Geography:
Made in Khulna District, Bangladesh, Asia
or West Bengal, India, Asia

Date:
19th century

Medium:
Cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery in back, darning, running, fern, dot, eye, and seed stitches

Dimensions:
31 x 30 inches (78.7 x 76.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1994-148-681

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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Label:
Three 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.