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Collection Artifact Details

Dowry Bag

Type: For Personal Adornment
Object Name: Dowry Bag
Local Name: kotli
Place Made: Asia: South Asia, India, Central India, Madhya Pradesh, Malva and Nimar
People: Banjara
Period: Mid 20th century
Date: 1940 - 1960
Dimensions: L 56 cm x W 36 cm
Materials: Wool; cotton; cowrie shell
Techniques: Plain woven; embroidered; tasseled
ID Number: T85.0472
Credit: Gift of Dr. Howard Gorman

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.