Beaded hair ornament

Beadwork from the western Indian regions of Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat, southern Rajasthan and southeast Pakistan, known as Moti Bharat Kaam, is a traditional handicraft and a visually distinctive marker of the identity of communities that hail from this region. The import of Venetian glass beads in a variety of colours from the 20th century, led to their application to a variety of decorative items made by women in these communities. The weight of the finished pieces led to their being used largely for decoration - hangings for door lintels, door jambs, window and alcove coverings, pillow cases, bags, pot carriers and even pieces used to decorate cows and bulls. The beads are strung together and woven into various patterns - the background is almost always composed of white beads, against which coloured beads are used to create patterns. Figures of gods (mainly Ganesha, Srinathji, Krishna), fauna (parrots, peacocks, tigers, elephants, horses) and flora feature on these elaborate objects. The family name, or the name of the family patriarch often makes an appearance on hangings intended for doorways.

20th century
Gujarat, India
Object size: 49.8 x 22.7 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre
Garments and Accessories