Issue #002, Monsoon, 2019 ISSN: 2581- 9410
Undivided Bengal has been known for their folk needle craft of Kantha. East Bengal, now Bangladesh and West Bengal, now in India have embroidered Kantha. Kantha has seen various influences and yet maintained its integrity. There have been Portuguese and British as well as ‘partition’ (of east and west Bengal; and partition with Pakistan) influence on the motif vocabulary. However religious and mythological influence has been the strongest and has survived till date.
Lotus, Tree of life, Mouse, Peacock, Elephant, Nandi/the bull etc have remained in the symbolic religious design vocabulary of Kantha quilts and other Kantha articles.
Lotus has been a very popular motif in the quilted Kantha, according to almost all the books that talk about Kantha. Several books talk about 108 petal lotus motifs whereas others talk about 100 petal lotus, called the ‘satadal’.
Niaz Zaman’s book talks about 100 petal lotus. However, considering the fact that she is talking about Nakshi Kantha in Bangladesh, may be the variation was more evident there. The figure 108 has a religio...