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Among the desert communities in the state of Gujarat these vibrant embroidered door-hangings suspended over the entrance to homes and important rooms. They are signs of welcome as well as they play and important ritual role because of their ancient and sacred origins. In India the word Toran refers to different objects with similar functions. Architectual gateways in temples and stupas called torana, for example. The pendants are important components of a toran, because they have a protective funktion. In some cultures the teeth-like and tongue-like zigzag row of the pendats is perceived as a protective barrier, a bit like to stick the tongue to the devil. Next to embroidered motifs like flowers and animals the mirrors are an significant element. Their dazzling surfaces deflect the evils eye, that otherwise will destroy fertiliy and bring misfortune. The torans played always an important part of the woman’s dowries. Many communities in Gujarat hang onold Toran on the main entrance for the whole year as protection, and a new one is hung for Diwali and weddings. Beside the toran, on each side of the doorway an L-sharped textile, the sankhia is hung, and next to them are pantorans, smaller friezes and smaller chakla squares. These Sankhia belongs to the Kanbi tribe, they are known for their vibrant embroideries, called Kanbi bharat.
Beadwork, the art of stringing beads without using a fabric base, is locally known as moti bharat. It was introduced to Gujarat in the 19th century by merchants, who imported venetian glas beads. The basic method of work is a tri-bead system, worked row by row.
Sankhia of the Kathi landowning caste from Saurashtra, mid 20th century
Size 0,70 x 0,70
All handmade, Cotton with cotton floss