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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.

Description

A flat, embroidered seat cover. It appears to be shaped to fit a large bicycle seat. It is constructed from blue cotton textile (that has faded to a blue gray colour on the front side of the object), which is profusely embroidered in chain stitch with bright orange and mustard yellow silk or rayon floss, using a meandering pattern, along with paisley motifs and designs that perhaps represent peacocks. A small hooked sun disc motif, enclosed in a circle, appears in the center, and along the perimeter of the design field are several small discs made from yellow, green and white glass beads. Some gold metallic braid is incorporated into the design. The embroidered textile is edged with a dense fringe made from twisted dark red fibre (faded) and white glass beads, and a ruffle made from dark green synthetic knitted textile. The embroidery is backed with red cotton textile.

Iconographic Meaning

The sun disc in the center could indicate that the maker wanted to incorporate an element from the natural environment that represents life-giving forces. Meandering lines of the designs are thought to entangle evil spirits and protect the user from harm. Beaded discs are emblems of good fortune.

Narrative

The Pastun have traditionally lived a nomadic lifestyle, although some groups are now adapted to urban and village living. The nomadic groups migrate seasonally between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their lifestyle has been severely disrupted by war and political upheaval.
Part of a strap made from red cotton textile, located on the back of the seat, was probably used for attaching the cover to the bicycle seat.
Beaded discs, like the ones that decorate this piece, are widely used in area and have a long history. Examples have been found in ancient burials.

Item History

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