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Description

Woman's synthetic machine printed head cloth. Red with diagonal cross-hatching pattern filled with double teardrop design in green, orange and white. Square, circle and abstract designs (including dove, floral, elephant and cross motifs) make up the centre of the hatching. Similar designs without the cross-hatching align the borders of the cloth. Teardrops excluded, all patterns are formed using tiny squares with red centred dots. Machine-edged white thread along the two shortest sides. Maker's mark watermarked along one side. Some irregularities in printing process.

History Of Use

Headcloths of this type were worn by women of the Hindu Koli caste. Members of that caste assisted in the production and gathering of this clothing. The cloth for the clothing was purchased in Kodinar town, 7 km. to the east of Dhamlej. They were worn with elaborate blouses, which were also worn by other castes. Koli women also wore distinctive jewellery, including small bracelets called bangli in Gujarati made of plastic or gold, silver ankle chains called chhdi, solid silver anklets called sakada, and large gold nose rings called kadi.

Iconographic Meaning

The type of clothing helps to communicate the caste of the wearer.

Narrative

This head cloth was collected with the help of Hindu Koli people. This collection was gathered with the enthusiastic participation of villagers in Dhamlej, reflecting Derek Johnson’s rapport with them. They allowed him to take photographs of them demonstrating how the clothing was put on and worn. These photographs are available in the Museum of Anthropology collection documentation file for accession 2615.

Cultural Context

Worn on a daily basis.

Item History

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