Food cover

On special occasions, Indians use ceremonial cloths, or rumal, to cover elaborate metal serving dishes. Embroidered in silk, this rumal depicts a spiritual dance called Rasa Iila, in which the (blue) god Krishna appears with his milkmaids, called gopis. As the supreme mystic, Krishna takes on multiple forms and dances in their midst.


Collection Connections 

  • Food Cover

    Food Cover

    Asia: South Asia, India, Northern India, Himachal Pradesh, Chamba

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  • Food Cover

    Food Cover

    Asia: South Asia, Pakistan, Sindh

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  • Food Cover

    Food Cover

    Asia: South Asia, India, Northern India, Himachal Pradesh

    View More 
  • Food Cover

    Food Cover

    Asia: South Asia, India, Western India, Gujarat, Saurashtra

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What kind of food would this rumal cover?

responded: Jan 25, 2012

Posted by Vanessa P

149
Recommend this Response
When first coming across the rumal, the vibrant colours and the embroidered silk fibers were the characteristics that immediately stood out from the artistic piece. I initially made the assumption that the cloth was worn as a scarf where the various stories embroidered onto them and the use of such a fine fibers represented an individual’s social status. Not had knowing the exact purpose of the piece; I would use the cloth as a scarf, but as a decorative accessory rather than it being an article for protection against the human body. The square like shape of the cloth also brings forth the assumption that one would use it as a decorative piece for ones outfit as there are many ways to wrap/tie the scarf to achieve different looks. The rumal, if used as a neck scarf, greatly resembles those of Hermès silk scarves, which individuals wear as an accessory and can also manipulate the use of the accessory in many different ways. Whether it be tied as an ascot, French knot, headscarf or onto the handle of a handbag to add a dramatic effect. I would also use this cloth as a decorative piece for a dinning table, as it would make a striking accent piece in a room. The bright colours, elaborate pattern, and fine texture would catch the eye of any who would come across it. The cloth tells a story using symbolism, colour and shapes, similar to that of a wall painting and can be displayed across a white antique wooden table.

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