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 would you use this cloth for if you didn’t know it was meant for covering food?

responded: Jan 23, 2012

Posted by Teresa Fazari

127
Recommend this Response
If I did not know that this Indian cloth, or rumal, was meant as a food cover to be draped over metal serving dishes, I would use it as a table cloth or a table decoration piece of some kind. Reason being, its intricate details and bright colour palette is of a remarkable nature and needs to be shown off in the room of most importance; the kitchen. The kitchen is a place of social gathering, unity, abundance and togetherness. The table can be described as the centre of unity, which is where I would place this rumal, as a focal point. The colours depicted on this cloth are part of the reason why it would still use it for something food related. The bright, friendly and inviting essence that the bold pigments project is infectious, and is exactly the feelings you want to be having when you are eating. The colour choices of this rumal are significant to the feeling and emotions that a person feels when they view these colours. For example, when someone looks at the colour red, the hue playes on their sense of hunger and makes them feel hungry. The colours yellow and orange also relate to the human feelings of taste and again make you feel hungry, psychologically. Along with the colouring, certain imagery portrayed also gives this rumal the feel of being related with food. For instance, the four centre quadrants seem to depict a scene of people surrounding a central circular image. The people look to be gathered around a table top, in preparation of a meal. The circular imagery, as seen in the flowers, the movements, and the general non-linear forms of shapes, flow with a unity pattern, and resemble an infinity concept that can be easily translated to an abundance of food. Therefore, to re-iterate, if I did not know that this rumal was not meant to act as a food cover, I would still set this cloth’s primary function as something food related as in a decorative table covering. I would place this rumal in the room with the most food, being the kitchen, and set this piece as a focal point centered at a family table.

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