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Sainchi Phulkari

Early 20th century
Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi

A dramatic background of parallel dashed lines interspersed with diamond-shapes—perhaps representing oversized water droplets—recalls the heavy rains of Punjab’s monsoon season. A parade of paired animals revels in the downpour. At the center of the cloth’s long sides stand large, stylized peacocks, their spiky feathers spread for their monsoon mating ritual. The short sides are dominated by bold diagonal stripes embroidered in dense darning stitches and include rows of additional peacocks and of wheat motifs. The small spot of magenta thread in one of the orange stripes may serve as a nazar butti, an intentional “mistake” created by the embroiderer to help ward off the evil eye.

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Object Details

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