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According to Zoroastrian belief, covering the head offers protection from evil spirits. Hence wearing caps, especially at religious and certain social functions was considered important. As time progressed, this prescribed accessory of clothing developed a decorative dimension and cap making, particularly in Western India became a highly specialized craft.

Details

  • Title: Parsi Child's Prayer Cap
  • Date Created: 20th century CE
  • Location: India
  • Provenance: Gift of Heta Pandit Gift of daughters Prochi Shroff and Behroze Bilimoria in memory of Mehroo and Jamshed Billimoria
  • Type: Cap
  • Medium: Silk
  • Region: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • History of Style of Technique: The birth of a child brings great joy as it ensures the growth of the family tree. His arrival in civilised society is marked with a gift of a soft mulmul zabla. According to Indian tradition, it is considered inauspicious to buy any new clothes for the new born. In fact at first the baby is made to wear old clothes of a child from the family. The used clothing is soft for the tender baby skin and it is believed that through these clothes the positive family vibes and values would pass onto the baby. The arrival of a baby is remembered by its tiny clothes; a marriage ceremony by the carefully wrapped up wedding attire; parents are remembered through the garments they pass on to their children. This is perhaps one of the reasons why we treasure heirlooms. The tiny dresses worn by our children hold sweet memories. Treasured more than any expensive garment, they are a strong symbol of love. Earlier, they were stitched and embellished by mothers, aunts, and grandmothers for the child but today the trend of such home-stitched garments is on the decline, being replaced by the variety of readymade clothing available in the market.
  • Accession Number: 2014.59

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