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Sainchi Phulkari/Nilak Phulkari

Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi

Geography:
Possibly made in Haryana, Hessar, Punjab, eastern Punjab, India, Asia
Made in Haryana, Punjab, eastern Punjab, India, Asia
Possibly made in Haryana, Hissar, Punjab, eastern Punjab, India, Asia

Date:
20th century

Medium:
Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, running, chain, and buttonhole stitches, glass mirrors

Dimensions:
7 feet 5 inches × 53 inches (226.1 × 134.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
2017-9-13

Credit Line:
The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection

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Label:

Figural phulkaris are known as sainchi. The dark indigo khaddar of this piece gives it its other name—nilak (blue) phulkari. An ornate central X-shape divides the cloth into four fields, each holding images from popular Punjabi folktales. In one field, a figure with another lying across his lap probably tells the story of the hero Mirza and his lover Sahiban. We see Mirza’s faithful mare Bakki tied to a nearby tree and approaching horsemen who may be Sahiban’s angry brothers and scorned fiancé. In the opposite field, a man carries two shoulder baskets containing small figures. This might represent the story of Shravan Kumar, the pious son who carried his elderly parents on pilgrimage, a tale included in the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana.