AUD $200.00

Indian, Large Rabari Bag

A double sided, embroidered and mirrored storage bag “kothelo” from Gujurat, in the deserts of Western India.
A large flat pillow-case like bag, for storing a nomads’ personal possessions.
Either Rajput or Rabari, from Kutch or Saurashtra, Gujurat. (but the fine chain stitch outlined flowers and women are identical to others I’ve seen, on what I thought were Pashtun Serving Cloths from Pakistan or Afghanistan.)

Made from a patchwork of hand spun undyed cotton clothes, combined with plain red and black cotton panels, then embroidered with various coloured cottons and bubbly hand made “shisha” mirrors.
The bubbly faults in these mirrors are an added bonus, visually enlivening the overall design, modern more uniform ones lack this magic.
There is a border of small mirrors on three sides.
And a mixture of both large and medium “shisha” mirrors, on both faces, these are believed to reflect and therefore deflect the “Evil Eye.” (Scared away by its own reflection.)

These larger pieces tend not to turn up in newer embroideries as “uniformity” is beginning to encroach, even here.
It was embroidered originally in two pieces, then joined all the way round three sides.
Faded multi coloured cotton tasells, with translucent red glass beads and small white shells are sewn around the lower, most embroidered three sides. As we approch the upper plainer binding area these tasells chance to multi coloured camel hair felt with white buttons, replacing the shells.

Generally in very good condition, for its age, except a few “shisha” mirrors are missing on both of the bag faces (two major ones, one on each side. One other small one in the border has gone too.)
It is usual for some to have been lost if the bag has genuine age and useage, although this piece is in too good a condition to have seen a lot of use.

There is an undyed cotton “draw string” to close it, and the extended upper section of plain and dyed cotton, has no mirrors and less embroidery, allowing easier folding, bundling and tying.

Collected in Gujurat in 1991.

Age; Mid 20th Century.

Size: H 84 cm x W 55 cm. (including tasells, but not drawstring.)

Weight: 191 grams.