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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.


Large, square, embroidered wall hanging, featuring multicoloured representations of the elephant-headed god Ganesh, female human figures, birds, rats and flowers, worked in chain stitch with multicoloured silk or rayon thread on cotton muslin. A large, square field of dark brown muslin in the center of the piece is divided roughly into four quadrants, each containing an identical scene of Ganesh seated under an umbrella, within a shrine, and attended by two women bearing flowers, several birds and a rat. In the center of this field is a decorative strip of various designs, representing women, male figures mounted on horseback, peacocks and mandalas or sun symbols. There is a 3-tiered border (18.5 cm) of red muslin, embroidered with flowers, triangles and wavy lines, surrounding the main design field on all four sides. The hanging is underlined with dark brown cotton muslin. Loops made from brown cotton textile are sewn on at all four corners. Some of the block-printed embroidery guidelines are still visible.

History Of Use

Possibly used as a decorative and auspicious wall hanging in the home, in a private shrine, and/or at a wedding or other special occasion; alternatively it could be used to cover a pile of quilts in the home; or it might be used as a canopy at a wedding or other ceremony, since it has hanging tabs on all 4 corners.

Cultural Context


Specific Techniques

chain stitch


Purchased by Milton and Beverly Israel while traveling in India.

Iconographic Meaning

The Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesh is the remover of obstacles and is worshipped before undertaking any new venture. The 2 women are his wives Ridhdhi and Sidhdhi, and the rat is his vehicle. The peacock is revered as a noble bird, the embodiment of good, and its image may be used as a metaphor for a bridegroom who comes to claim his bride from her parents; therefore, peacocks are frequently used in objects associated with weddings.

Item History

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