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Kantha (Embroidered Quilt)

Artist/maker unknown, Bengali

Made in West Bengal, India, Asia
or Bangladesh, Asia
Made in Undivided Bengal, Asia

First half of 20th century

Cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery in back, buttonhole, darning, satin, and running stitches

6 feet 8 1/2 inches × 51 inches (204.5 × 129.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, 2009

Social Tags

bangladesh [x]   bengal [x]   chariot [x]   cotton [x]   dhol [x]   drum [x]   embroidery [x]   horn [x]   marriage [x]   mourning festival [x]   muharram [x]   muslim [x]   palanquins [x]   palkis [x]   quilts [x]   shenai [x]   textile [x]   wedding procession [x]  

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Along the triple diamond border at bottom marches an elaborate wedding procession consisting of mounted elephants and horses, two palkis (palanquins) holding seated couples, and musicians accompanying the revelry on dhol (double drum) and shenai (long horn). This type of palki procession was common to Muslim and Hindu marriages alike, and can still be seen in parts of rural Bangladesh today. At right, the two birds enclosed in the upper central chamber of a rainbow-roofed processional chariot suggests that the chariot may be a Muslim tazia, pulled during the annual mourning festival of Muharram. At left, a locomotive crosses a rail bridge, the kantha's outer wave border doubling as the river.