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Darshan Dwar Phulkari

First half of the 20th century
Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi

In South Asia, the act of honoring or interacting with the divine is known as darshan and this type of phulkari is called a darshan dwar (literally “doorway to the divine”). Oral tradition suggests that devotees may have presented these to gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship), Sufi and Muslim shrines, and Hindu temples, but there is little actual documentation of such practices. Here, figures with pots on their heads stand in and between rows of peak-roofed yellow doorways. Are they worshipers bearing offerings or village women leaving their homes? As in other darshan dwars, partial roofs also peak from above each row of doorways, suggesting additional streets in a town. Even the train cars have peaked yellow roofs.

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Object Details

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