Abocchnai shawl

Abocchnai wedding shawl. Silk embroidery on cotton. Sind people. Gujarat – Northeastern India. Second half 19th. century. Dimension cm. 122 x 226 (48” x 89”). Good condition with some missing in the corners, stains.
The ground fabric is muslin, which the artist embroidered with colorful silk thread. She decorated the muslin with a variety of large and small plant forms using a changing pallet of reds and pinks. At first the change in color looks like it could have been due to abrash, or the way dye batches fade at varying rates, but on close inspection it appears that the embroiderer either chose to vary the color or was unable to find enough exactly matching thread. The end result is an eye-catching modulation in color in a classic design. This beautiful wedding shawl is from the Dars landowning caste or Lohana merchant caste. The rural peoples of western India comprise many castes. Caste identity is still very strong and distinctive textiles are worn as a mark of this identity. SOLD.

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