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Afghanistan or Pakistan

Purse 1920-60 Materials & Technique: textiles, silk, cotton, pompons, cotton cord, cotton lining; embroidery: satin or surface darning stitch, running stitch, backstitch
Dimensions: open 20.4 h x 14.0 w cm closed 13.0 h x 14.0 w cm tie 33.0 h cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1985
Accession No: NGA 85.347

Small bags are made and embroidered by women throughout Central Asia. Until the early 20th century, most Central Asian clothing was made without pockets, and both men and women carried their personal possessions in small purses and pouches attached to their garments. They were used for items such as mirrors, make-up, money, tea and tobacco. Embroidery skills are highly valued across Central Asia and purses are traditionally presented to guests as tokens of friendship and good luck.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label