The Banjara are a semi-nomadic group found throughout many parts of India. They are renowned for their colourful and highly ornamental textiles, dress and jewellery.
This piece is a ceremonial plate cover featuring cross stitched cotton thread on madder dyed cotton with a border of indigo. It comes from Andhra Pradesh, a region which is located along the eastern coast of Southern India.
Although the lack of written records makes it hard to date such pieces with 100% accuracy, the hand stitched seams and borders, the obvious natural dyes, and with the character and design of the work, indicate that this piece heralds from around 1940. There is currently a popular revival in Banjara embroidery, and modern pieces are characterised by bright coloured fabrics and stitching threads from synthetic dyes, with much larger or longer stitching.