Dowry Bag Item Number: 1098/2 from the MOA: University of British Columbia


Small, square, flat, envelope-style dowry bag or purse made by bringing three corners of a square together, using the fourth corner as a triangular flap. Heavily embroidered with square and X-shaped, brightly coloured geometric designs and round mirrors. Loosely twisted fibre cords (red, yellow and green; 52.5 cm in length) with a yellow pompom, are used to fasten the flap shut. The embroidery is underlined with red printed cotton textile.

History Of Use

Used to carry valuable items at wedding festivities.

Specific Techniques

Techniques of stitching: satin stitch; buttonhole stitch; stem stitch; couched stitch; fly stitch. This style of embroidery is called “kharek.”


This dowry bag was purchased by William McLennan at Threadlines Gallery in Islamabad, Pakistan, in 1985 while he was on assignment for the Museum of Anthropology, which had a contract with the administration of Expo ‘86 to set up the Pakistan pavilion at the fair. The Museum purchased it, along with the other items in the 1098 accession, from McLennan in 1986.