February 04, 2018 2 min read
This mesmerising silk Amli embroidery on a square pashmina shawl is from the 1800s and depicts soldiers circling around a thriving establishment.
Note the deliberately highlighted flowers (roses?) amidst the soldiers.
The field is populated with musicians, romancing couples and folk scenes – all depicting enjoyable passtimes of a flourishing community – a rosy picture indeed.
This combination of guns and roses perhaps depicts the idea that the protective security of a powerful army allows a beautiful normal life to flourish.
As was the custom of the time, shawl may have been created as a gift to the rulers of the time praising their style of leadership and offering gratitude for their shelter.
In addition to the 80 soldiers, there are over 130+ animals and 100+ other people engaged in various ‘happily ever after’ scenes.
Also includes Lord Vishnu seated in a Lotus!
Presenting some of the scenes of the settled life seen in this shawl:
1. A weathy couple listening to musicians as they get fanned by their servants …Note the details in all their clothes!
2. A romantic afternoon under a tree?
3. A hunting party? Note the ankush of the mahout!
4. Smoking Hukkah (at first I thought this was a snake charmer)
5. A pregnant animal?
In many parts of Asia pregnancy is seen as a sign of abundance, of prosperity, of settledness, of hope, of the future, of optimism and growth of the wealth of life, of ‘all is well with the world’.
6. Lord Vishnu
7. Coming back to the circle of security …. the soldiers!
I am most impressed by their uniforms!
Must find out which regiment wore these uber-fashionable candy-striped jaamas!!
This piece is a part of the wovensouls collection.
More info on amlikar shawls from google books:
The V & A robe with the same type of Amli embroidery is presented here.
jaina mishra | wovensouls
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