A Beautifully Stitched Rajasthani Cloth: Said Community Prayer Rug
ca. mid to late twentieth century
38" x 38", 96.5 cm x 96.5 cm
This marvelous, mid to late century, hand stitched cotton textile was intended to be used as a prayer rug for the Muslim Said community in Rajasthan, India.
The prayer mat is stitched in a very distinctive way: notice the geometric design is based on a grid; this grid has been metered out in such a way that blocks of different sizes are occupy the surface area of the cloth, creating a fantastic, interconnected, symmetrical, geometric design--not unlike what you would find on the utilitarian ceramics of tribal peoples throughout the world.
The hand stitching is done mainly in the kambira form, a kind of geometric "flower" design, much like the Japanese kaki no hana or persimmon flower pattern used in sashiko stitching. The cotton seems to be commercially produced, and the mat is constructed of two layers. It seems never to have been used.
The cotton on the face of the textile is a kind of buff/ivory; the embroidery stitches are red and black cotton.
Complex, beautiful, and exotic.