This black embroidered woman’s tunic native to the Balochi/Baluchi tribes native to Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli from a dealer based in southern Iran, in 2020 to be added to The Zay Initiative collection. It was part of an ensemble along with a pair of (shalvar), accompanied by a necklace and a pair of earrings all of which are also part of the collection.
This is a traditional Balochi women’s tunic dress or (kamiz)/(paskh)/(pashk)in black silk (georgette) with (quadrille) style weave. It is embellished in typical Balochi style embroidery depicting geometric shapes and floral motifs and is typically worn with a pair of trousers called (shalvar).
The tunic consists of an embellished (bodice_yoke)/(yoke) and a skirt with (godets) on either side of the waist. The front of the yoke is embellished with repeats of floral and butterfly motifs in (satin_stitch) style embroidery with mustard yellow silk floss thread accompanied by a thin outline in (couching) style embroidery with silver coloured metallic thread. These patterns of motifs are reflected on the cuffs too in a thick banner.
The front of the skirt has a similar embroidered long narrow rectangular patch topped with a triangle. This patch is a utilitarian attachment known as a ‘pudo’ and it usually serves as a large pocket. The panel is separately embroidered and sewn into the dress and although it ends a few inches above the hemline of the dress traditionally it extends and merges with the hemline.
The entire skirt, the back of the yoke, and the sleeves are splattered with talismanic designs of geometric motifs embellished using a variety of stitch styles such as (chain_stitch) style, (buttonhole_stitch) style, and (blanket_stitch) style embroidery.
This piece possibly originated in the Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran as it was accompanied by a necklace (ZI2020.500734b ASIA) and a pair of earrings (ZI2020.500734c ASIA) both of which are embellished with old nickel coins of Qajar Persian origin c. early 19th century.
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