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Tota Bagh Phulkari

Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi

Geography:
Made in Punjab, eastern Punjab, India, Asia

Date:
First half of the 20th century

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

Dimensions:
7 feet 8 3/4 inches × 56 inches (235.6 × 142.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
2017-9-17

Credit Line:
The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection

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Label:

Rather than the usual geometric patterns, this bagh (garden) phulkari displays rows of totas (common ring-neck parrots) alternating with pigeons and other birds. Baghs were the most expensive and labor-intensive type of phulkari to produce, thanks to the solid embroidery that covers their surface, done primarily in costly imported silk thread. Often a woman could afford to buy only a little thread at a time. This resulted in a single bagh having threads from different dye lots, each slightly varying in color. Here the shades of orange-gold on the background add visual richness, but also reveal the artist’s sacrifice of money and time.