Ramnamavali Chadar (Shawl)

20th century CE

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

Shawls with the names of deities began appearing in early 18th century. These type of shawls are called the Namavali Chadars. They are named after a particular deity whose name is printed, painted, woven or embroidered on the shawl such as Ram-namavali, Shiva-namavali etc. Such namavali chadars are worn by devotees mainly during rituals. Several times the auspicious symbols associated with the respective deity are also depicted on the chadar. In this chadar bow and arrow, foot prints and conch associated with Lord Rama are woven along the borders.

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  • Title: Ramnamavali Chadar (Shawl)
  • Date Created: 20th century CE
  • Location: India
  • Type: Shawl
  • Medium: Silk with Brocade
  • Region: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
  • History of Style of Technique: <i>"I’ve painted my body red, I’ll paint my mind all red Kabir says I’m off to my wedding, I’m marrying the Imperishable One"</i> There is an array of religious textiles with equally varied meanings and usages across different religions in India. These include the temple and domestic shrine decorations, devotional offerings, banners, ritual costumes and narrative scrolls. Large painted textiles have often been used to narrate stories and exploits of deities, saints and heroes to the common folk. One such textile is the Pabuji no Phad (painted scroll of Pabuji) which is used by the Bhopas of Rajasthan to narrate the story of Ramnarayana or Pabuji. In Andhra Pradesh, the kalamkari (painted cloth) is used to narrate the story of gods and goddesses. They are also used to decorate temple walls as well as rathas (temple chariots) at the time of a procession. In Gujarat Mata ni Pachedi (painted and printed cloth depicting the Goddess) is used to create an enclosure for the shrine.
  • Accession Number: 2010.30