Wall Hanging (Puthia) depicting the Feet of a Jain Monk

Artist/maker unknown, Indian1667 (Samvat 1724)

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, United States

Across the top of this embroidery, the name and title of the guru Vijenji are inscribed in Sanskrit. The presence of the holy teacher is indicated symbolically by his footprints, rather than his bodily form. In Indian culture, body parts have different values; the head is most revered, and the feet the least; thus, the worship of someone's feet is an expression of true reverence. Subtly embroidered in the right foot in a contrasting satin stitch is a svastika, an ancient Indian symbol of well-being. To either side of the footprints, small worshipers in colorful robes hold fly whisks to honor the guru.


  • Title: Wall Hanging (Puthia) depicting the Feet of a Jain Monk
  • Creator Nationality: India
  • Creator Gender: Unknown
  • Date: 1667 (Samvat 1724)
  • Location: Gujarat, India, India
  • Physical Dimensions: w15.12 x h13 in (Overall)
  • Provenance: Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 1996
  • Type: Textiles
  • Rights: © 2014 Philadelphia Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
  • External Link: Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Medium: Silk plain weave with silk, silver, and silver gilt thread embroidery in couching, chain, darning, and satin stitches
  • Other Title: Ceremonial Hanging (Gurupada)
  • Artist/Maker: Artist/maker unknown, Indian

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