Art history/ Historiography

Mango-kairi-kalka-paisley: Design in Indian art from architecture to textiles

Pathak, Anamika

Issue #009, 2022                                                                              ISSN: 2581- 9410 Abstract The fruit ‘mango’, among all types of fruits, has a greater influence on the social and cultural and religious ethos of Indian society. The mango tree, its wood and even the leaves are still considered auspicious among the Hindu’s. Besides the Hindu, the fruit mango is important among the Buddhist and Jains. From the early days of art history, the fruit mango was represented in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain art. Consequently, its symbolic representation in the form of ‘Kairi’ (unripped mango) was adopted as design. The motif Kairi was first seen as the decorative design in architecture. Further, the wide adaptation was seen in jewellery and later on, it was extensively used in textiles. From the 17thcentury onwards, the Kairi motif dominated the Kashmiri shawls. Through the trade, these Kashmiri shawls reached the European market and were in great demand there. The growing demand inspired the Paisley village of Scottland, England, to imitate the Kashmiri shawl. Here, in the article, an attempt is to look at the journey of motif Kairi, inspiration from fruit mango, its social and religious significance. 1. Introduction Symbols in traditional Indian art unfolds many layers of meanings; its physical appearance, essence/ powers associated with it, stories woven around it, and so on. Natural powers remain the inspiration for humans at the beginning, which were adopted as the symbol. Next step...
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