Skip to main content

Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

19th century
Artist/maker unknown, Bengali
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....

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.