Skip to main content

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.


Object Details

We are always learning more about our collection and updating the website. Want to share your knowledge about this work with us? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.