Man's sash (patka)

Indian (Kashmiri)
Mughal period
late 17th or early 18th century


Object Place: Kashmir, India

Dimensions

Overall: 67 x 203.2 cm (26 3/8 x 80 in.)

Accession Number

64.2215

Medium or Technique

Wool twill tapestry-weave

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts

Classifications

Costumes

Sash (patka) of deep red (cochineal) wool twill tapestry with border design on each end of six boteh motifs with blossoms formed by Chinese-style clouds in blue, green, yellow and white.

An important element of male courtly attire in sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century India, the patka or girdle played a symbolic and decorative role comparable to the necktie today. Often the most lavishly decorated component of a man’s formal dress, the patka tied at the waist with the ends hanging toward the knees. The length of the ends and the position of the knot changed according to the fashions of the times. The ends of the patka, known as the pallakas, tend to be more elaborately and sumptuously ornamented than the central area, with lavish embroidery and metal thread. Because rulers often granted patkas as token of esteem, the sashes became symbols of political status as well as emblems of wealth and good taste.

Provenance

Gift from Mrs. William Tudor Gardiner to the MFA on December 9, 1964

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. William Tudor Gardiner