This cotton Madurai sari is a combination of a white body with red printed motifs. The body itself is quite full with decorated elephants of two types printed within broad grids with creeper motifs. The decorated elephants are an unmistakable part of the South Indian temple traditions, where they are taken out on an annual ride. The parrot flying on the elephant is also decorated. The second elephant motif on the sari, representation of the eternal love between a mother and a child, has a mother elephant fondling its baby. The grids within which these motifs are drawn are itself beautifully printed with floral and creeper patterns.
The border is the most interesting part of the sari. Set within a red background, the border is a zari weave of the forest life of India. It is a representation of a wild forest with an antelope and its baby facing each other. The deer are very delicately woven, bringing out their form and shape. The flora also is impeccably woven. The border has a temple pattern printed on the top. The Pallav is a red background with zari threads woven in rows.
This sari is interesting for the motifs represented. The extensive use of the flora and fauna make up the secular patterns on the sari, while the decorated elephants form the religious themes. Also important, is the theme of 'motherly love', represented both with the elephants and the deer. With these varying themes, this sari is a prized possession.
This description by Bhanupriya Krutiventi.
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