Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

One More to Decipher! A Phulkari Textile

Once again I am foxed!

For about a week I have been asking my Punjabi friends to interpret this textile from their land.

We are getting somewhere but not far enough!


What I see is as follows:

  • We have Sita and the deer
  • we have Hanuman and Sanjeevani or Dronagiri,
  • we have Krishna with his flute and Mira with her sitar…
  • And some others that I don’t recognise – maybe Guru Nanak & Jalaram Bapa?

It is an anachronistic party of people from different eras.

“A Midnight in Paris”  type of meeting – and instead of artsy people, these are all spiritual leaders.

And finally there is the Sikh Soldier with his gun. He probably anticipated the inter-faith conflict  such as the one we are in the midst of today …and decided to bring his gun to the party to maintain law & order. 🙂

And then there are two words that the Punjabis too are challenged by:


The script is not recognisable.

But they said that these can be read in the mirror – [Like the text AMBULANCE is written on the vehicles]. This may be explained by the fact that phulkari work is done on the reverse side of the cloth.

So when flipped they look like this:


Which still is not clear ….

Any guesses?

Someone suggested that the embroidery artists were probably illiterate and the text given to them was rendered in a corrupted manner and so the letters are unrecognisable.

Someone suggested that these words are “Majnu” & “Aurat”

Majnu is famed for his  star-crossed love  for Laila and AURAT = woman.

What are lovebirds doing at this spirituality convention?

Was the artist trying to depict the idea of “Love” through these? And suggesting that Love is as much a religion as all other notions?

Or is this just a far-fetched interpretation of someone in serious need of a second cup of coffee? 🙂   🙂

Interpretations on this Temple Hanging are welcome!

You could comment below or write to me at


Nov 2016




One comment on “One More to Decipher! A Phulkari Textile

  1. Hi,

    Are these phulkaris for sale…? If yes, please give me your best price….By the way, have you seen my latest book entitled, Unknown Masterpieces of Indian Folk & Tribal Art published in 2016 which is a revised and enlarged edition in a new format with such amazingly unique phulkaris like the ones never published before. Thanks and regards. Aryan

I'd love to hear your view on this. Please comment below:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on November 6, 2016 by in Art Kaleidoscope, Culture Kaleidoscope and tagged , , , .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,074 other followers





%d bloggers like this: