Kantha

October, 2014

Kantha

Maker unknown
Kantha

Circa 1900-1925
Probably made in Jessore, Bangladesh
2012.001.0004

Kanthas are known for their limited color palette, using a few colors of thread on a white background, but more importantly for their elaborate imagery depicting daily life and beliefs in eastern India and present-day Bangladesh.

This distinctive early 20th century example of East Indian kantha depicts the Hindu deities Krishna and Radha framed by two intertwined snakes. A spinning chakra wheel, located near the serpents’ heads, also represents vital spiritual forces.

The image of an elephant and a white man on horseback represent colonial British rulers of India.

Learn more about kanthas in the online exhibition South Asian Seams and World Quilts.