777 Antique Shekhawati Shawl Rajasthan Textile

Beautiful Old Cotton Bishnoi Shekhawati Wedding Odhana Shawl

The field of this cotton base shawl is filled with motifs of animals and the girls herding these animals!  (An image of an real-life scene I photographed in Rajasthan is also attached)

Base cloth is faded from shielding the owner from the Rajasthan desert sun.

A beautiful peacock blue has been used in the embroidery.

The use of two thread-styles - suggests that the embroidery was done across two different generations; it may have been left unfinished at some stage and then picked up by a daughter or daughter-in-law to complete the work.

The most endearing aspect is the randomness of the layout of the motifs - a characteristic I associate with rural / rustic creations that were never meant for commercial use. Had commercial dealers had any influence, the animals would have been arranged more neatly and in a more organised manner. The patternless random "wild" arrangement seen in this piece is a reflection of the wild untamed souls of the creators and the land they live in.

"wild" comes from the word "willed" and was originally used to indicate that the path was decided by the desire or will and not by external social dictats. This state of life or spirit - which seems completely impossible for us today - is clearly present in this textile.

Estimated to be from the 1950s

68 x 62 inches

Made using two base cloth panels stitched together

Handspun Cotton

Hand Woven Cloth

Hand embroidered