Pardon our dust while we update this corner of the website.

Ceremonial Cover (Rumal) with Hunting Scene

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in India, Asia

19th century

Cotton plain weave with silk embroidery

36 x 35 inches (91.4 x 88.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

* Gallery 329, Asian Art, third floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

Social Tags

animals [x]   archery [x]   cotton [x]   hawking [x]   hunting [x]   india [x]   limited palette [x]   silk [x]   tigers [x]  

[Add Your Own Tags]

This elaborate embroidery shows many of the animals commonly hunted by the ruling class in northern India, as well as many of their hunting methods. The prey are (clockwise) a pair of Sambar deer, a pair of wild boar, a lioness, a male black buck antelope, and a tiger. The various mounted men wield swords, bows and arrows, a spear, and a gun while the men on foot use swords. Hunting animals include dogs (both large Saluki hounds and smaller terriers) and a tame hawk.

Such embroidered cloths were made by court women of the Himalayan foothills, especially during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They were most often used as coverlets for gifts given on special occasions such as weddings and other lifecycle rituals, and derive their motifs and images from the narrative painting tradition. It is likely that professional painters drew the outlines on the cloth and even suggested the color scheme for the women to embroider.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.