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Description

Woman’s backless blouse with plain bodice, pieced from blue, yellow and red cotton broadcloth, and decorative elbow length sleeves, pieced from panels of embroidery and jacquard-woven ribbon. It has a V neckline in the front and ties at the center back neck and at the waist with self-fabric ties. The embroidered panels on the sleeves are embellished with metal sequins and mirrors. There is a small pocket on the lower right side of the blouse.

History Of Use

Everyday attire, usually worn with a skirt and large shawl that covers the head and back. Although this garment was collected in Afghanistan, it was not made there, nor was it intended to be worn there. Stylistically this blouse is similar to those made and worn by the indigenous women of the deserts of Gujarat in India and the neighbouring Sindh province in Pakistan, but it is different from them because it lacks the intensively embroidered bodice usually found on this style of blouse. The embroidery on the sleeves appears to have been pieced or recycled from other sources, a practice that is not always typical of these garments, for which the motifs are usually embroidered directly on the background textile. Perhaps this blouse was made in a workshop for distribution and sale in the marketplace, whereas traditionally such a garment was made domestically, in the home.

Narrative

This item was collected by Maurice Van der Beke while living 1.5 years in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province.

Item History

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