hand-drawn and block printed, resist and mordant dyed, handspun and woven cotton; floral and leaf forms or forested landscape; dark turquoise blue, rust red, tan, purple (turquoise and red mixed/one color on top of the other); border of circles with leaves and circles inside, squares with quatrefoils, zigzags, and circles; white machine stitching (initials?) along long side with border design

Textile panel, 14th-15th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

This cloth is radiocarbon dated to 1347-1467; it was created in Gujarat on handwoven cotton and features two bands of block-printed flowering trees and bushes, further hand-drawn, resist and mordant dyed, and the background over-dyed with red and indigo for a lush, purple ground. The cloth was manufactured for export, primarily to the Toraja region of Sulawesi where the flower design was called daun bolu, referencing the leaf of sirih plant, a key ingredient in chewing betel. There, it would have been used as a ceremonial banner, displayed at auspicious occasions and otherwise kept with a family’s pusaka, or sacred heirlooms cloth (radiocarbon dated 1340+/-40 years) was recovered from burial sites in Fustat, just south of the trading crossroads of Cairo.

Details
Title
Textile panel
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2018.50.32
Curator Approved

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hand-drawn and block printed, resist and mordant dyed, handspun and woven cotton; floral and leaf forms or forested landscape; dark turquoise blue, rust red, tan, purple (turquoise and red mixed/one color on top of the other); border of circles with leaves and circles inside, squares with quatrefoils, zigzags, and circles; white machine stitching (initials?) along long side with border design