PAKISTAN, Tooh village, near Mithi, Tarparker desert, Sindh.
Circa 2000 patchwork ralli quilt chosen from a dowry shown to me in the remote mud-hut village of Tooh. Personally purchased in February 2012 from Hindu Meghwar tribal member. 200x126cm.
Large cotton quilt (with a few shapes of velvet) ralli from dowry completely hand sewn in traditional Sindhi colours of black, brown, deep red, forrest green, yellow and royal blue. Very similar to the American 'Barn Door' design with the additional of the red of green corner squares on opposing sides of the barn door. Some references state that there are similarities in Sindhi and US patchwork designs due to the influence of American missionaries who worked in this area in the 19th century, however tombs at ancient Sindhi archaeological sites show carved designs in myriads of patchwork designs. This quilt is 10 patches long and 6 patches wide bordered with thing yellow strips with small royal blue square corners. The whole quilt is bordered with a thin strip of black with an outer border of repeating diamonds in coloured pairs and a final thin strip of oxblood red. The quilt is quilted with brown running stitch, has a red / orange and apricot printed backing around outer edge. A wool tassel is sewn at each corner. No holes or stains.
The village of Tooh in Sindh is one of the most remote regions of Pakistan and approximately 10 hours drive south east of Karachi. On this trip I was accompanied by 2 policemen with machine guns who travelled in front in either Jeep or on motorcycle. As I passed through each district the police change. It was an extremely complicated process to gain permission to travel out into these remote districts. We travelled into a grey sandy desert and to get to the village we (myself, translator, and village representative, Dev Vasalai) got out and walked through the sandhills until we came to a small, walled village consisting of mud huts with grass roofs. The huts had compressed mud/dung floors that has been polished to a very hard, cement like consistency. There is no electricity wand water is collected from a well.