Dowry Bag

dowry bag

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Type: For Personal Adornment
Object Name: Dowry Bag
Local Name: kotli
Place Made: Asia: South Asia, India, Southern India, Karnataka, Gulbarga or Shimoga
People: Banjara
Period: Mid 20th century
Date: c 1950
Dimensions: L 52 cm x W 36 cm
Materials: Cotton; cotton floss; cowrie shell; metal bead
Techniques: Woven; embroidered; chain stitch; tasseled
ID Number: T00.45.135
Credit: From the Fitzgerald Collection

Among the once nomadic Banjara people, cowrie shells from the Indian Ocean are highly valued ceremonial items that, at one time, were also a low-value currency. The shells are particularly associated with ceremonial objects, such as dowry bags. Only married women may use them on their clothing.