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 30, 2012

Posted by Samantha Pinto

115
Recommend this Response
At first glance of this colorful piece, the subject of a tablecloth comes to mind, something that would only be displayed on special occasions like birthdays or family dinners. One particular occasion that comes to mind when I think of this piece as a tablecloth is Day of the Dead, a holiday in Mexican culture but celebrated internationally. Taking place in early November, this holiday celebrates those who have died before us, taking time to visit and honor our deceased loved ones at their burial ground and to come together and celebrate their life often through food, drink and decoration. There are several aspects of this cloth that remind me of day of the dead. First off the bright colors of this piece remind me of the Mexican culture. The traditional flower associated with day of the dead, a Marygold, is a combination of bright yellow and orange and is know as the flower of the dead as the smell was originally thought to wake the dead so they could share in the celebrations.Secondly it is evident in four squares of this cloth that there is a circle of figures holding hands, almost as if they are in celebration or dance. In addition to the human figures, there are several donkey or horse-like figures on the outer edges of the cloth, another traditional symbol in Mexican culture, originating back to Spanish settlers, considered a vital element to the prosperity of the country in transportation, resources and labor. My second thought when first seeing this cloth was as a garment piece such as a scarf or shall. In the spirit of spring runways this piece would be very popular in its bright colours, patterns and florals, as seen in Erdem’s spring/summer 2011 collection.

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