Cover (rumal) with scene from the Ramayana - 969.271.4_8_doc20141212_IMG_4023

969.271.4_8_doc20141212_IMG_4023

Cover (rumal) with scene from the Ramayana

Medium:Cotton tabby embroidered in silk and silver lamella
Geography: Chamba, Himāchal Pradesh, India
Date: 1775-1825
Dimensions:
60.5 x 135 cm
Object number: 969.271.4
Not on view
Description

Scene from the Ramayana showing traditional dress Cotton rumal (cover) Chamba, Himachal, northern India, 1775 1825 The Hindu epic Ramayana features the story of Rama, one of Vishnu's ten reincarnations. Rama, with bow and crown, has a dhoti (wrap) around his waist. Sita his wife wears a ghagra (wide skirt) and shawl. They are greeted by their loyal guard Hanuman and two maharajas. The maharajas, with swords, and the attendant, holding a fly whisk, are dressed in chogas (tunics) with sashes.

Cotton rumal (cover) with scene from the Ramayana showing traditional dress.  Chamba, Himachal, northern India, 1775-1825. Fine natural cotton tabby ground (count 26  x 26 per cm) worked with slightly twisted coloured silks (red, blue, green, yellow, orange, white, peach, shades of purple, black), mainly in encroaching satin stitch and in double back stitch and variation of 2 sided cross stitch; and with copper lamella washed in silver in double sided satin stitch without using needle. Reversible. Free drawn design outlined mainly in black ink. Rectangular shape, with selvages at top and bottom, all sides bound with red cotton tabby in bias. Belongs to the local school of chamba embroideries, easily distinguished by the pictoral designs: the idiom for the picture is borrowed from contemporary schools of hill painting and based on hindu mythology. Floral motifs and cypress trees show some distant Islamic influence. Bands of highly stylized floral meanders within 2 guards of cross stitched squares. Embroidered bands cross each other. In their inner and outer corners, stylized symmetrical flower sprays. In the 2 wider outer fields along short sides, 3 cypress trees. In centre field, a scene from the Ramayana: Rama and Sita with Hanuman. Above the figures, 3 blue peacock figures, common symbols for the lover. The piece is an example of peasant work, not professional embroidery.

The Hindu epic Ramayana features the story of Rama, one of Vishnu's ten reincarnations. Rama, with bow and crown, has a dhoti (wrap) around his waist. Sita his wife wears a ghagra (wide skirt) and shawl. They are greeted by their loyal guard Hanuman and two maharajas. The maharajas, with swords, and the attendant, holding a fly whisk, are dressed in chogas (tunics) with sashes.

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