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Small, flat, rectangular, multi-coloured pouch made by folding a long, narrow embroidered panel in half crosswise and stitching up the long sides, leaving one narrow end open. The embroidery is so densely worked that almost none of the background textile is visible. The two sides of the pouch are almost identical in design and colour. Each side of the pouch has a rectangular center design panel embroidered with diamond shaped motifs and mirrors, worked with multi-coloured thread, outlined with black, on red cotton muslin; the central panel is bordered with a row of mirrors that are outlined with metallic thread and set between rows of black “braid” made from dense bundles of black thread that are laid and couched. Closely-spaced, faded red pompoms are sewn into the side seams. At the open end of the pouch is a casing made from gray-green cotton fabric. The pouch is lined with dark green cotton fabric.

History Of Use

An example of the way this pouch may have been used is: “A Sorathi Rabari groom uses a small bag called a pothu, one of the very few items his community embroiders, to carry supari (betel nut). Before the ceremony, he distributes supari to guests (in exchange for cash gifts). During the wedding, when he is engaged in rites, the pothu is passed to a ‘best friend’ who has accompanied him from his ness (community).” Frater, 1995, p. 132.

Specific Techniques

satin stitch; laid and couched; buttonhole stitch; stem stitch


Purchased by Milton and Beverly Israel while traveling in India.

Cultural Context


Item History

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