As the vibrant hues of autumn begin to paint the...Read More
Etymology: ‘Mata ni pachedi’ literally translates to ‘behind the mother goddess’
Origin: The story goes that when the nomadic Vaghari community of Gujarat who worships Mata, were not allowed to enter temples, they instead created their places of worship with illustrations of the Mother Goddess (Mata) on pieces of cloth.
Location: The Vagharis were nomads and kept on moving along the coast of the Sabarmati river, so the exact location of its origin is hard to decipher. Today, however, most of the artists have settled in Vasana, Ahmedabad, and Gujarat.
Relevance: These unique textiles, known as Mata Ni Pachedi, fulfil the need for a religious representation/environment for groups who have no permanent settlement and thus need to construct temporary shrines for their religious ceremonies.
Significance: It is a 400-year-old art tradition that originated as a form of religious expression in Gujarat, where it is practised by rural communities.
Culture and society: The Dalit community of Gujarat were the people who created these decorative textiles. Mata ni Pachedi soon became an heirloom for them.
Religious significance: It was created to appease their ‘kuldevi’ at the Maa Setrojia temple. When the paintings are made, anyone could touch or handle them, but as soon as it reaches completion only the high priests can access them.
Style: The main deity is drawn as the central motif is some of the most vibrant colours, and is ornamented, the facial features are simple yet powerful. The rest of the textile shows human and animal figures, these characters represent the devotees of ‘Maata’.
Central motifs: The central figure of these works contains a portrayal of one of the Hindu mother Goddesses situated in a temple or similar enclosure. Other figures include mythological characters, human figures, musicians, sacrificial animals and flora and fauna.