Some exquisite Hindu phulkaris in our collection depict a broad range of figures, objects, and animals. An exceptional example, now sold from our collection, is “Phulkari With Large Cat”. This phulkari, used for a woman’s dowry, features a center rectangle dominated by a large cat surrounded by other figures, peacocks, and stylized depictions of a bride’s jewelry. Another example, “Phulkari With Elephants” features many stylized figures, birds, and an abstracted elephant in the center, all surrounded by geometric shapes and patterns.
Many phulkari textiles contain motifs intended to ward off the evil eye. These motifs, called “nazar buttis”, often appear as intentional “mistakes” made by the craftsperson. This is meant to combat the belief that objects perceived to be perfect or complete are more susceptible to evil influences. A number of “nazar buttis” can be seen in “Phulkari With Checkers” where the incorrect color thread is intentionally inserted into small sections of the pattern.