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Sainchi Phulkari

20th century
Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi

The large trains embroidered on both sides of this sainchi phulkari have engines puffing thick black smoke and cars filled with passengers. The center square may be a train station or a board for playing chaupar (a popular Indian game), or perhaps both. Does the scene reflect the embroiderer’s everyday world or her dreams and imaginings? Trains, for example, were potent symbols of longing, whether for an absent husband, son, or daughter, or for a woman’s own desire for adventure.

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Object Details

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